After a couple of years of driving your car, riding your bike, playing an instrument, operating an excel sheet, and so on, your brain goes into autopilot mode. What that means is you’ll be doing all of these things, and efficiently so, but without having to focus all your attention on it.
Practise does make you perfect, but it can hinder your power to reason. It is safe to say that cumulatively your brain goes partially ‘dead.’ You will be able to do what you need to but without having to think too much. And thinking is an essential ability when it comes to being smart.
Here are ways a simple activity like knitting can help you develop attributes that make you smarter…
1. Bolsters Cognition
Providing your brain with appropriate stimulus can slow down its age-related degeneration and increase its neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity is the brain’s ability to continue to evolve functionally and compensate for brain injury and damage by forming new neural networks. Cognition stimulating activities like knitting (also crocheting, quilting, solving crossword puzzles, gaming, reading books) encourage new cell growth in the brain, thus, increasing its elasticity. Increased elasticity means more power to reason and make connections.
2. Enhances Memory
Brain-challenging activities like knitting are quite engaging in nature. Because of this, knitting helps divert your attention away from your troubles and reduces stress. The stress hormone cortisol damages neural synapses involved in memory storage and processing. Reduced stress translates to stalling of short-term memory loss in older adults. A good memory is but a necessity for smartness. After all, knowledge is power.
3. Improves Creativity
By reducing stress, knitting also helps expand our creativity. Figuring out new patterns, color schemes, and stitches work well for our artistic minds. Thinking out of the box—an attribute of creativity—will definitely help you think and talk smart. Also, better decisions are made under less stress.
4. Instils Patience
Knitting is one of those things that require patience. You know something good will result but you need to keep working at it, one stitch at a time. Delayed gratification is a must for mature thinking. Smart people are mature in their approach to problems and situations.
Does knitting make you smarter? Yes, it does. Start young and reap the benefits as you grow older. Your expanded brain will help you make more informed, less conventional, and sensible decisions.