We could all use a little more Zen in our lives.
Balancing work, home, and family life is a daily juggling act that doesn’t often leave us much time to seek our inner calm. The good news is, you don’t need to head off for a month-long silent meditation retreat to bring more mindfulness and relaxation to your routine—you just need a pen and paper—and a Zentangle.
What is Zentangle?
Zentangle is a method of making simple, repeating patterns and designs on paper that result in beautiful abstract drawings—it’s an easy and relaxing art form that almost anyone can do! It has become popular around the world as a practice of “artistic meditation” to help quiet the mind and focus the senses. Zentangle techniques are taught everywhere from classrooms to clinics, with people of all ages and all (yes, ALL!) artistic abilities.
5 Reasons to Zentangle
1. Zentangles Make You Feel Like An Artistic Genius
Learning Zentangle is like seeing how a magic trick works—it looks complicated, and the results are impressive, but it’s actually incredibly easy to do. It’s a simple method of creating patterns one line at a time on a small square of paper. There are numerous tutorials and step-by-step instructions for popular patterns available on the web, which is a great place to get started. Soon you’ll be a Zentangle master creating your own beautiful original designs!
2. You Can Draw Zentangles Almost Anywhere
Zentangles are traditionally drawn on 3.5-inch square paper tiles—their small size makes it easy to take with you anywhere, so you can Zentangle anytime. You can complete a Zentangle in as little as 15 minutes, giving your mind a brief but powerful respite in your busy day. Keep a few blank tiles in your bag for a fun and uplifting exercise anytime you are traveling, riding the train to work, or waiting at the dentist’s office.
3. Zentangles Boost Your Brain and Body
The Zentangle method has been used by professionals in a wide range of fields, from education to psychology. It has been integrated into treatments for addiction, stroke recovery, insomnia, panic attacks, stress relief, dieting, and more. Zentangle has been shown to boost self-esteem, promote relaxation and mental clarity, and open the channels of creativity. Using the creative side of your brain gives your mind and body a chance to decompress and relax—even just a few minutes a day can have huge benefits!
4. Zentangles Teach You Important Life Lessons
Zentangle theory draws a profound humanistic approach that has been practiced for centuries. Even the most intricate and complex patterns are made one line at a time, each individual stroke combining to create something larger. When you use a pen on paper, mistakes cannot be erased—instead they simply become a new beginning that takes your pattern in a different direction. And you thought you were just doodling.
5. Zentangles Help You Find Your Zen
The process of creating your design, as well as the sense of accomplishment you gain from completing it, provide a huge boost to your mental and emotional wellbeing. The practice of Zentangle is about being fully present in the moment—it is about making mindful, deliberate strokes with your pen, with no expectation of the outcome. Maybe Zentangle can’t keep your car from breaking down on a rainy day when you’re already running late, but it can at least help ease your stress while you wait for the tow truck!
Zentangle is typically done with a black pen on white paper, but here at GelWriter we are all about making the world a more colorful place. With your GelWriters, you can Zentangle in a rainbow of bright colors—and try using neons or pastels on dark paper! Or why not color in your Zentangle? It’s like making your own coloring pages!
Ready to try Zentangle? Zentangle and TanglePatterns are great places to learn more about it and get started with simple patterns. We’d love to see your Zentangle! Share your photos with us on Facebook.