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Kintsugi: The Ancient Art of Mending


Kintsugi is a Japanese art style in which broken pottery is restored using lacquer mixed with gold, silver, or platinum instead of being tossed or bonded back together with transparent adhesive. The mended piece becomes even more beautiful, with obvious seams of precious metal, and is admired for its flaws and the story it tells. This is similar to the beauty of coping. This art form has been employed as a metaphor for resilience, healing, and progress.


Instead of trying to hide or erase our defects and brokenness, the idea of kintsugi recommends that we embrace them as part of our journey and work to repair ourselves with the support of others, becoming even more beautiful and valuable as a result.


Here are a few ways to apply this philosophy to mental health and coping:



Accepting and celebrating our flaws.


Mental health challenges, such as anxiety and depression, can make us feel imperfect or broken. Still, acknowledging that these issues are a natural part of the human experience allows us to see them from a new perspective. Rather than aiming for perfection or hiding our defects, we might learn to embrace ourselves as we are, imperfections and all.




Finding strength in weakness.


We must first recognize our vulnerabilities and seek assistance when necessary to heal and grow properly. This process can be challenging and humbling, but it can also be extremely empowering. By acknowledging and addressing our weaknesses, we can build resilience and become stronger than before.




Making meaningful connections.


The act of fixing broken pottery in kintsugi entails collaboration with others, whether the artist who repairs the piece or the person who owns it. In the same way, connecting with people can be a great way to help with mental health and coping. This could include getting support from a friend or family member or seeking professional help from a therapist or counsellor.




Seeking beauty in the broken.


Kintsugi pieces are frequently thought to be more attractive after they've been repaired than before they were broken. Similarly, when we work to rebuild ourselves after mental health hardships, we can emerge stronger and more resilient than before. Our struggles can give us a depth and richness that we might not otherwise have and make us more compassionate and empathetic towards others facing similar challenges.




Kintsugi is a powerful metaphor for resilience and healing in mental health and coping. We can attempt to heal ourselves and emerge even more triumphantly by embracing imperfection, finding strength in vulnerability, making meaningful connections, and finding beauty in the broken.

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