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December is here again. Along with the festivities and time to spend with loved ones, it also brings time to reflect about our lives. We all try to make resolutions  that will make our lives better. Given the hustle-bustle of modern lives, who would disagree that we could all benefit from a little less stress?

This new year, resolve to reduce some stress by inculcating a new, fun, hobby. Developed by Rick Roberts and Marie Thomas, Zentangle is a method of creating structured designs using repetitive patterns (Machiodi, 2014). A Zentangle is traditionally created using a black pen on white paper. The Zentangle method has been found to increase relaxation, control anger outbursts, improve sleep if practiced before bedtime and it has even been found to help with panic experienced during airplane take-off and landing if people create Zentangles during those times (“Zentangle Practice”, 2015). Also, at the end of it, you have a piece of art you can frame or give as a gift.


Isn’t that Just Doodling?

The Zentangle Method is different from doodling as it follows a set of rules. Though the art form is relatively new, it is based ancient principles of art which includes a core ritual process of creating the design using symbols from different cultures (Machiodi, 2014). Creating Zentangles helps increase focus and create a different mood and state of mind (“Zentangle Practice”, 2015). Also, doodling is a fairly absent-minded activity while Zentangles are created with absolute focus and deliberation.

But I’m Not an Artist

Zentangles can be created by anyone, even people who have no artistic experience. The best thing about this method is that there are no errors. An artist practicing this method is not allowed to use an eraser but simply incorporates any ‘mistakes’ into the pattern. The Zentangle method does involve following some simple rules to create structure but most Zentangle artists believe that the craft evolves beyond the rules. At first glance, a Zentangle appears quite intimidating. Following the steps and your own intuition are the key to creating these patterns

Zentangles are an inexpensive, time-efficient form of self-therapy. Start your Zentangle creations today by following the steps in the following link http://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Zentangle.



Calm Down and Get Your Zentangle On | Psychology Today. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/arts-and-health/201403/calm-down-and-get-your-zentangle

How to Make a Zentangle: 11 Steps (with Pictures) – wikiHow. (n.d.). Retrieved December 14, 2015, from http://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Zentangle

Zentangle Theory | Zentangle. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.zentangle.com/zentangle-theory


About the author:

Jaya Sarika Vadrevu is a student at Adler University pursuing a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology, she is currently volunteering with the British Columbia Psychological Association and is always up for a game of scrabble.


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