De-creasing Stress, One Fold At a Time


In a time of fear, stress, and anger, it’s easy to forget that we can appreciate life and—even for a moment—find beauty in the little things. 

However, I believe I have found something that will hopefully ease the nerves that many of us are experiencing. 2020 has been such a confusing year. When the news isn’t broadcasting the harsh reality of the pandemic, the days are the most uneventful we’ve ever experienced. Being able to unfold after everything is the next best thing we can do in the face of a stressful year. However, in my opinion, in order to unfold, we must first fold something first…paper!

That’s right. I’m talking about origami, the Japanese art of paper folding! With a seemingly-simple piece of paper, one can create something rewarding and beautiful. This hobby has everything we need in quarantine: it’s entertaining, simple to learn, and the finished product can be kept as a symbol of pride and accomplishment! Don’t let this year tear you down—try, instead, folding your worries away.

All you need to get started is a piece of paper: old homework, newspaper, or even sheets of special origami paper that are relatively inexpensive on Amazon. From there, the Internet is your best friend. Thousands of templates and instructions are right at your fingertips with a simple Google search. Once you master the basics, you can create anything! A piece of paper can become a doll, a crane, a bow, a box, and hundreds of other structures. Origami is a stress-free activity. The paper will remain exactly how you left it, unchanging and steady. That stability might just be the key to unlocking a sense of relaxation.

If you are into arts and crafts or geometry, origami might just be the activity for you! Surprisingly, there is more to origami than simple paper folding. Studies have proven that it can help with geometrical thinking, as specific shapes and folds have to be perfectly symmetrical. So, while you’re having fun with your piece of paper, you might just be learning geometry as well! Origami also helps with overall brain development. Since our peripheral nerves are found in our fingertips, the details in the origami help train our brains to look out for signals to fold and flip the paper. Aside from that, it is simply engaging and encourages concentration and relaxation.

Origami has been with me since I was seven years old. It has seen me in the best of times and the worst. I hope that you find the same sense of joy in origami that I did (and still do)—I can’t wait to see how your origami excursions unfold!