TEHRAN (Press Shia Agency) – A new study shows that the ancient art of calligraphy can combat anxiety, improve wellbeing and boost self-esteem.

A research team from University College London (UCL) surveyed nearly 50,000 people about the positive effects of calligraphy and similar creative hobbies, the Daily Mail reported.

The team found that 76 per cent of people who enjoyed such activities found them to be a ‘distraction tool’ to block out anxiety, 69 per cent of participants took up a creative hobby as a way to make themselves more confident, and just over half used it as a ‘contemplation tool’.

Senior researcher Dr Daisy Fancourt, who led the UCL research, said: ‘This study is the first to show the cognitive strategies the brain uses to regulate our emotions when we’re taking part in creative activities.’

Calligraphy has also been shown to reduce the symptoms of psychosis. Researchers in Taiwan showed how Chinese calligraphy therapy sessions help the brain work better, relieve depression and combat schizophrenia.

Crafts have grown in popularity over recent years and 20 per cent more people indulge in art as a hobby than three years ago.