The word origami comes from the Japanese words oru, to fold, and kami, paper. The exact origins of this ancient practice are unknown. It has been traced as early as 6 BC to Buddhist monks, who used origami for ceremonial purposes.
During this year’s World Origami Days, which we celebrate from October 24th to November 11th (which is the official World Origami Day). We explore five ways this simple and beautiful practice of paper folding helps mindfulness and overall wellbeing.
1. It requires concentration, which in turn keeps you in the moment:
The art of folding is an individual pursuit that encourages you to become fully immersed in the practice. This means you’re not distracted from outside influences, thoughts, emotions and stressors.
2. It encourages you to slow down and teaches patience:
In a world where we rush from place to place, task to task, responsibility to responsibility, there can be an almost subconscious tendency to apply this behaviour to something like origami. The art of origami encourages you to not rush the folding but rather focus on the “rules” and “steps” that you need to follow in order to achieve a neat and more precise piece of work.
3. It gives your brain a work out:
Not only will you be creating beautiful pieces, you are also challenging both the left and right side of your brain (creative and mathematical for example). This improves hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills and mental concentration!
4. You can practise anywhere:
The great thing about origami is that you can do it anywhere as long as you have a piece of paper. For example, you can fold on the train to work in the morning.
Whether you think of yourself as the creative type, an analytical mind or somewhere in between, origami has many wellness benefits for you. Whilst origami won’t be for everyone, mindfulness definitely is – so why not give it a try?