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Calligraphy: Beauty in the Written Word
Calligraphy is the
art of handwriting. One must be patient and take their time in performing the
strokes of the nib onto paper as they focus on laying out the letters. It is
indeed a work of art in terms of penmanship. Today’s seniors grew up in a time when
the written word was so important and was also a way of communicating.
Modern calligraphy focuses on presenting the letters in stylish loops and is usually in cursive. It takes time to practice this hobby as it is mostly done in the leisure of one’s home on a desk or hard surface so that whoever is practicing the art of calligraphy has a good grasp of what they are styling.
There is very little material involved in fact, all you need is a nib, some ink, “art water” and just fill a cup with water and a piece of cloth to wipe away the nib. The paper you use has to be good quality paper so that the ink doesn’t leak through. To practice calligraphy, you have to be patient, take pride and care while working and in some ways also be a perfectionist.
“Cognitive effects of calligraphy therapy for older people: a randomized controlled trial in Hong Kong” is a Chinese study on the effects of practicing calligraphy for seniors. This study was conducted on a group of seniors over 65 years old. “Recently, growing clinical research on calligraphy handwriting has found that calligraphy used as therapy may improve behavioral and psychosomatic disorders, and have a therapeutic effect on hypertension and other diseases, such as type 2 diabetes. It is further argued that the act of calligraphic writing may train people’s attention and concentration and result in relaxation and emotional stabilization,” says the report. “For instance, calligraphy has been found to have successfully enhanced spatial ability, visual attention, and picture memory in people with Alzheimer’s disease. Similarly, it has been found that intellectual leisure activities in later life, including calligraphy, may delay cognitive deterioration.”
Practicing calligraphy is also great for seniors because it is not an activity that requires much strength but rather precision. It is also a great way to take a trip down memory lane. Many seniors grew up in a time when practicing handwriting was so important. Paying attention to detail is also imperative. By writing letters it is not only a leisure activity but also a way of keeping up with hand and eye coordination and sharpening one’s skills.
When people turn to entertainment such as electronic devices and TV, there is no interaction involved, no stimulus and no creativity. If a senior always stays put, idleness has also been shown to speed up the aging process. Take a moment to appreciate the feeling of self-pride while creating beautiful things with the written word. Go back to basics and bring back a time where a hand-written note was very special and also a keepsake.
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