Mindfulness is defined by “a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations.” It is a practice that improves self-acceptance and focus while reducing reactiveness and thoughts about our past and future. The good news is that we can use mindfulness by simply becoming aware of what we are doing. However, slowing down and being present can at times be challenging, as well as unsettling. For example, it can be difficult to be present with uncomfortable feelings, our mind can wander, or we may become sleepy after attempting to take a pause. For that reason, I started to search for tools that can provide a structured activity to increase practice.
Welcome to mindfulness origami! Origami is a Japanese art of folding paper to create a three dimensional shape. It is a tool that can increase focus while using our hands to transform and create. All you need is paper! As with any other activity, practice is key, and allowing ourselves to make mistakes will create a more positive experience. Once you learn a fold by heart, you will be able to fold with a meditative approach. Additionally, “origami has been studied as a tool for children to develop spatial and perception skills, learn mathematics, refine dexterity and hand-eye coordination, as well as improve concentration.” There are multiple shapes to choose from, and after completion, you can keep your creation or gift it to a loved one!
Here is a diagram to create a paper airplane: