Recently I’ve been drawn to designing funny cross stitch patterns more than any other subject or genre of designs.
Cross stitching is already a relaxing, creative and pleasant activity for me. But, lets face it, sometimes watching the news, or dealing directly with negative or antagonistic people, or living in a world that seems to demand that we upgrade (!!!) and hurry (!!!) and earn (!!!) and multitask (!!!)….. it can make a person feel utterly crazy, disjointed or disappointed. That can have seriously negative affects your mental and physical health.
I find stitching a funny, playful or snarky cross stitch pattern simply makes me feel better! It’s become my whimsical stitch therapy.
Humor, noun, is defined as “a comic, absurd, or incongruous quality causing amusement“. As a verb, it is defined as “to adapt or accommodate oneself to”. Psychology Today writes “Humor, the capacity to express or perceive what’s funny, is both a source of entertainment and a means of coping with difficult or awkward situations and stressful events. Although it provokes laughter, humor can be serious business. From its most lighthearted forms to its more absurd ones, humor can play an instrumental role in forming social bonds, releasing tension, or attracting a mate.”
You’ve probably heard the old phrase “Laughter is the best medicine.” Well, it’s true! Humor has widely been studied and proven to improve health. Laughter lowers levels of the stress hormone, cortisol. Laughter affects heart function and dilates blood vessels. It increases the endorphins that are released by your brain, can improve your immune system, improve your mood and may ease pain by causing the body to produce its own natural painkillers.
In general, humor can increased optimism and relaxation while decreasing anxiety, depression, stress and tension.
One website even compared laughter to physical exercise: “Laughter increases heart and respiratory rates as well as oxygen consumption over a short period. While these effects may not be the equivalent to aerobic exercise, that is not to say it is entirely without benefit as a physical activity. 10-15 minutes of laughter per day may burn 10-40 extra calories.“
Sweet! Laughter burns calories!
Creativity has been studied and shown to provide similar health benefits like increasing positive emotions, reducing depressive symptoms and anxiety, and improving the function of our immune systems.
So, combining the relaxation and creativity of cross stitching with the benefits of humor (stress relief) just seems like a win-win for everyone!
Here are a few of my funny cross stitch designs for those days when you just can’t “people” anymore…