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As the modern world picks up speed, so does the onslaught of stress and anxiety. Despite advancements in technology, we still find ourselves struggling to stay present and manage our mental health. Fortunately, ancient practices like Chinese calligraphy can provide us with a respite from our troubles and improve our mental wellbeing.

Chinese calligraphy is an art that emphasizes “presentism”, or being in the here-and-now. Every action involved with Chinese calligraphy – from flattening rice paper to gripping the brush – helps to settle one’s breathing, regulate their heartbeat and consequently lower their cortisol levels. By calming the mind and body through mindful practice, Chinese calligraphy offers an opportunity to cultivate inner peace and mindfulness.

The spiritual values of Chinese calligraphy have been well-documented by many writers (Chang, 1992; Chiang, 1973; Chung, 2006; Shen, 2004; Terayama, 2004). Through this practice, individuals can connect more deeply with themselves and gain a better understanding of the world around them.

This is how Calligratherapy is developed. Calligratherapy is a type of therapy that combines Chinese calligraphy with mindfulness practices, enabling individuals to express their inner selves. According to Xin Huang and Leah De Wijze, the practice has seven levels which are designed to help practitioners connect with their physical body and mental state on multiple levels. These range from level one – presentism (mindfulness and deep breathing) to level seven – visualizing your reflection (ink art and interpretation). With each successive step, practitioners are able to engage their whole body and mind in physical, mental, social and spiritual aspects, which can lead to an immediate feeling of well-being.

Chinese calligraphy isn’t just about mastering brush strokes; it’s about cultivating mindfulness for yourself and those around you. If you’re looking for a way to improve your mental well-being while engaging in creative expression, give Chinese calligraphy a try. It could be just what you need to find inner peace and balance.


Chang, M. (1992). The spirit of chinese calligraphy: A visual guide & introduction. Tuttle Publishing.

Chiang, K.-T. (1973). The theory of Chinese calligraphy. North Clarendon, VT: Charles E. Tuttle Company Inc.

Chung, C.-Y., Chiu, S.-H., Chen-Ling, L., Lin-Yuen Chen, Y., & Tan-Kai Kuo M. (2006). The New Textbook of Calligraphy and Paintings. Taipei: Xuantong Publishing Co. Ltd..

Shen, F. (2004). Chinese calligraphy : A comprehensive guide to performing the art of Chinese calligraphy and writing characters.

Weatherhill. Terayama, Y. (2004). Mindfulness in Chinese Calligraphy: Presentism and Reflection for Mental Well-Being. Tokyo: Kodansha International Ltd..

*This article was written by a non-native English speaker.*

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