Pull out the knitting needles, slow down and cheer up.

This month we discovered that knitting isn’t just for nanna (see page 142 of our June issue). While you may have never considered starting, studies have shown that pulling out the yarn and getting to work has some seriously calming, brain boosting benefits. According to neuroscientist Dr. Sarah McKay knitting can actually take the place of meditation as it calms the mind and shuts out the noise. “Knitting, like many yarn crafts, is rhythmic and soothing. Once you’ve learned how to do it, it comes quite naturally and people find it to be an excellent way to de-stress,” says McKay.

If you want to reap the soothing benefits of getting lost in some knitting download this free pattern from mindful knitter Lanny Mihardja James to inspire your first project.