Categorized | Stress

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Stress Relief Through Embroidery And Cross Stitch

We all lead very busy lives in today’s modern world, so why am I suggesting that you should seriously do what was once considered just a genteel activity for aristocratic ladies? Those of us who work in offices, retail or other inside careers need physical activity to keep up our health. But there are times when the gym circuits, the weights or the running don’t take away the stress of meetings, demanding customers or exacting managers. Often the body does not need any more excitement or exercise, but the mind will not stop buzzing. Or how about the times when you are stressed out but you cannot exercise due to geographical, injury or time constraints?

At these times, the rhythms of simple stitching, watching the pattern grow stitch by stitch, is very soothing. Embroideries do not have to be large works involving thousands of stitches, working a small bookmark or embellishing a handkerchief will take your mind away from the day’s anxieties and provide a wonderful sense of achievement when finished.

Embroidery is also very forgiving; it can be picked up, worked on for a brief time then put down again. You do not need a large workshop or bulky equipment. In fact, small pieces can be tucked into your handbag for working on when traveling. It is usually an in-expensive activity, only needing a few skeins of thread, some remnants of cloth and a needle. Of course you can work with fine silks and pure gold threads if your budget allows!

The technical skills to start are neither complex nor difficult to learn. Simple cross stitch and back stitch are the basis of many wonderful designs but only take a few minutes to learn. Concentrating on stitching evenly, counting the stitches or covering a printed design calms a tense mind and allows you to put your worries into perspective. You may even find that concentrating on the stitching has allowed the back of your mind to work on your problem without stress.

There are lots of simple and quick to do cross-stitch samplers available, you may also develop your skills to complete modern designs using sophisticated shading and differing types of threads. Your interests may lead you to exploring the full range of counted thread techniques developed over the centuries or even move from counting to totally free form stitching of beautiful textures.

Embroidery can be as simple or as refined as you wish, but in all cases it will let you escape from the tensions of our everyday working lives.

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