Calligraphy combats high school stress


Aaditi Lele

CALLIGRAPHY.  Many SHS students have begun to use calligraphy as a coping mechanism as high school becomes more and more stressful. “It forces you to draw your focus away from the many stresses of high school and instead focus on your art,” said Hayley Solomon, 11. Will you try it out?

   Look around you. In every classroom, you will find incessantly tapping feet, anxious glances, and endless caffeine and sugar just to get through the day. Our high school environment is far from being short of stressors and anxiety. Almost all of us have something to worry about. Tests, grades, college. It is easy to find points of stress but the hard part? Finding ways to deal with them. Fortunately, many SHS students have discovered one art form- calligraphy -that has proven to be a powerful tool for stress relief. 

   I know by now you are wondering: what even is calligraphy? Well, it is just slightly more complicated than the cursive we learned in second grade but anyone can do it. Because calligraphy comes in many different forms, it can fit an inexperienced beginner or a seasoned artist. And there is no need to worry. You will not need a quill and ink for this. Calligraphy is simply the art of decorative handwriting and it can be done with just any old pen.

   Let us take a look at how effective art forms like calligraphy can be when you are trying to reduce sources of stress and anxiety in your life. 

   With soothing brush strokes and calming movements, calligraphy can help you slow down in your fast-paced high school day. (In fact, even Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex has endorsed calligraphy as a stress reliever in her fast-paced life!) Hayley Solomon, an SHS student and avid calligrapher, explained that “when I do calligraphy, I almost hold my breath as I do it and it really forces me to calm down.” Whenever we are stressed, everyone always says to take a breather and jotting down a bit of calligraphy forces you to do just that.

   In fact, it is not just one student who sees the benefits of calligraphy as a distractor, a University College of London survey found the same results in a group of 50,000 people. In the study, 76% of the people surveyed used calligraphy as a distraction tool and 69% used it as a tool for contemplation. 

   With loads and loads of things to worry about, sometimes you just need something to detract your mind from its preoccupation. Solomon further explained how calligraphy forces her to employ tunnel-visioned focus which helps in removing fixation from your worries. Because “you can’t think ‘I have to study for this and that’” when doing calligraphy, you instead focus on your strokes and movements said Solomon. 

   So, next time tomorrow’s test is stressing you out or you have got end-of-quarter grade anxiety, grab a pen and get some ink flowing. If you are anything like the majority of students, a few minutes of calligraphy will help you calm down, block out those stressors, and combat high-school anxiety.