Student thoughts: Try Zentangle to de-stress and focus next semester

Ana Barrios / Contributing Writer

Everyone has been stressed out by school, responsibility or work, sometimes until they feel like they can’t concentrate. The life of a college student is stressful because students have to balance all of these things. If left with too much work, we start trying to finish everything in a rush and develop stress; this can cause them not to sleep well, be unable to concentrate in class and eat unhealthily.

Students try different methods to get rid of stress so that they can feel relaxed and be able to organize their thoughts. Some of the most popular methods are exercising, meditation, yoga and expressing creativity. A popular method created to assist people to become stress-free has been picked up by many who feel pressured from working so hard each day. This fun and artistic new method is known as Zentangle.

Zentangle – created by Rick Roberts and Mary Thomas – is a process of drawing intricate designs and patterns, usually with a black pen and white paper. Numerous books have been published to teach the basics of this new art, but the best thing is that it’s acceptable to make mistakes when first trying out. Different patterns can come from making creative mistakes, and no design has to be perfect, so people at any artistic level can participate.

Although it’s a new technique, the basic principles which lead to such intricate designs comes from the many symbols and patterns from the past and present of various cultures, including Mayan, Celtic and Native American, which inspires people to create a unique design of their own. The more fun people have drawing them, the more they realize how relaxing and helpful it can be.

Creating and detailing the outlines of tangled patterns takes some time, but it guides people to a less stressful headspace. Drawing tangles helps one to release tension whenever they’re feeling down due to the hard pressures of everyday life. A hard day’s work usually causes students to feel wound-up in completing assignments as quickly as possible, which can be detrimental to their health. However, creating Zentangles is an interesting way to let one’s emotions fly through the pen onto a paper and let it all out so they can relax. One can start feeling better by drawing endless tangles and swirls, and maybe get a better night’s sleep with fewer worries.

While drawing Zentangles is a fun and creative stress-reliever, it is also beneficial towards sharpening the mind to increase one’s attention span and their ability to concentrate.

Inking the rough sketches of a tangle takes a great deal of concentration, as one must carefully draw over the pencil lines so they don’t have any messy ink spots on the paper. Focusing on outlining a design is a great way for students to improve their concentration. Zentangle assists people in strengthening their minds, developing hand-eye coordination and increased attention. Noticing the tiny details within a sketch and clearing one’s mind it is a great way to lead students to pay more attention to the lessons in class and understanding what an author is saying when reading a book. The better one understands their course material, the more they can participate in discussions and help others.

During the semester, we all have our stressful days when we’re trying our best to study hard and finish pending assignments while finding the time to work. Next time you need to blow off some steam or calm your restless nerves, consider Zentangle to untangle your emotions.

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Sam Smith
The Beacon - Editor-in-Chief

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