I Tried Mindful Lettering For Stress Relief: After 2 Weeks, I Feel Surprisingly Renewed
Spending months at home since this pandemic began, I have more time to tap into my creative side, and it's been so positive for my mental health. Playing music and singing with my husband, learning to play piano with my kids, watercolor painting, doing Zentangle, sewing masks — those are just a few of the creative outlets I've been enjoying. And while looking on YouTube for inspiration, I discovered a new crafty hobby: mindful lettering.
What Is Mindful Lettering?
Mindful lettering uses the art of hand lettering (or brush lettering) as an inspiring meditative practice by writing powerful, positive, and thoughtful affirmations or quotes. It's minimalistic in nature since all you need is paper and a brush pen or paintbrush.
What makes mindful lettering meditative is the fact that not only are you concentrating your attention on writing meaningful, uplifting words, but the very act of drawing each letter is slow and deliberate. The focus and intent helps to slow down your breath, calm your energy, and push out all excess thoughts.
What Benefits Did I Experience From Mindful Lettering?
I made a point to sit down after dinner to do this practice, and my two kids often joined me, drawing or painting on their own. Even though we were doing it together and chatting, it still felt like quiet time. Ironically this creative outlet both recharged my energy and motivation, while simultaneously relaxing me and helping prepare me for bed.
I found quote inspiration on Instagram and YouTube, and worked on one quote a night, trying to focus on the meaning as I touched brush to paper. Some are in the pages of my art journal, while others are on separate sheets of watercolor paper, which I then was able to hang up as little positive reminders around my home.
I never felt the pressure of my artwork having to be perfect when doing mindful lettering, because just like Zentangle, it was the process that mattered, not the end product. I didn't worry about making mistakes or whether or not it looked good; it was how it made me feel that mattered. I just enjoyed the sound of my paintbrush sloshing around in the water cup, the feel of the brush gliding against the paper, noticing the curiosity of how I'd flow one letter to another, and watching the watercolors mix and bleed on the paper.
I loved that this was my time to do something for me, and it wasn't rushed or forced. I did it as long as I wanted, which was usually about 45 minutes, and afterward, my body and mind always felt calm and my heart felt full of joy. At first glance, it may just look like I'm writing quotes, but it's so much more than that. Scroll through to see some of my examples of mindful lettering.