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The magic and wonder of origami

One of the most appealing and enjoyable things about the craft of origami is its reminder of childhood creativity. It is also, however, a hobby that has endless possibilities thanks to its versatility in regards to self-expression, treasured by children and adults in equal measure whether it be making paper aeroplanes and flying them to crafting miniature animals. It is easy to see why it has become not just a popular hobby but also a serious art practice all over the world.

Although I only consider myself to be a hobbyist at this practise, as during the recent lockdown I rediscovered an appreciation for it that took me back to my enjoyment of this hobby from when I was younger, I would like to talk about the positive calming benefits that it has had for me and hope that it will inspire you to take some time to craft your own magic out of paper and see if it improves your own wellbeing through its practice and enjoyment. If you haven’t tried it already, why not have a go at origami as a way to practise mindfulness while having the opportunity to explore creatively.

Creative stress relief

With its physical and mental benefits, origami can equally stimulate and even soothe our stress levels. It is easy to find many different books and video tutorials, while there are many places to acquire the paper in a range of magnificent colours for the practice with numerous creative designs.

Endless possibilities

From birds to dinosaurs to flowers, animals and stars there is a vast range of variety of creative designs for everyone so that there is plenty of ways to express creativity to all tastes in design for everyone to enjoy.

The benefits of origami.

Looking at the many different websites and social media accounts related to the topic, it is clear that everyone has a different reason for enjoying origami and finds different meanings in it. What those who do, however,  have in common is an appreciation of the physical and mental benefits the practice offers.

Improved co-ordination

I personally find multiple benefits and plenty of joy in making things out of paper. It was initially recommended to me as a form of physical therapy, to help improve my physical issues with my hand-eye coordination. The result is a definite positive impact. Developing my confidence in this practice has helped me to develop my fine motor skills and has allowed me to see first hand why how it can benefit people when used as a physical therapy tool.

Better concentration

Origami can also be used to aide mental concentration. It directly stimulates the left and right sides of the brain making it a wonderful creative tool that benefits those who create origami.

Relax and unwind

One of the main reasons that I am so fond of origami is truly how absorbing it can be and how effective it is at lowering my stress levels. I sometimes find it difficult to relax and just be, but creating origami lets me lose myself in just creating and clears external stress from my mind. It is a tool that does not require much and so can be practised anytime, anywhere. If anxiety makes you feel fidgety and unable to focus, this is an effective way to distract yourself and release stress. 

Perspective and patience

In the modern world, it can be difficult for us to relax with so many other issues that take up a large portion of our lives and physical and mental energy. But by using origami we can effectively relax from these issues by doing something as simple as choosing our favourite paper and beginning to fold. This can help aid us in our awareness and focus, which in turn will train us to practise meditation with perspective and patience. This enables us to strengthen our sense of calm and wellbeing by creating a stabilisation of the mind.

Silence your inner critic

Another benefit to practising origami is its ability to help you silence your inner critic. It is a peaceful, calming, but absorbing hobby that inspires accomplishment as you create magic out of paper. By completing the folds you will gain a sense of achievement, which helps in letting go of self-judgment and perfectionism. No single piece of origami is perfect because it is a gradual process that is created by a human and, therefore, it is a great way to promote inner harmony.

Have you tried origami? We’d love to see your pictures. 

Lara Edwards
Community Manager and Editor of Motiv8.Me Woman. A photographer, radio presenter, poet and spoken word performer, Lara recently graduated from university with a joint honours in History & Creative Writing.

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