Looking after your mental health is just as important as maintaining a healthy body. Indeed, just as you work out in the gym to build your muscles, there are also some activities you can do to keep your brain in good shape. Keep reading and you’ll discover nine of the benefits of drawing and painting for your brain.
Some people associate colors and canvases with childhood artwork. However, painting is one of the favorite hobbies of many young people and adults. In fact, no matter what technique you choose, drawing will go a long way to releasing your stress and distracting your mind from harmful thoughts.
The benefits of drawing and painting for your mental health
Painting can be extremely relaxing. It’s an ideal activity for disconnecting from reality and getting in touch with your inner self. In addition, it’s a perfect means of communication for you to channel your emotions and allow your unspoken words to flow through your creativity.
If you’re thinking about painting in the comfort of your own home or contacting a private drawing teacher read on to learn about its main advantages.
1. Improves your mood
You may simply be coloring in a picture book or stretching your imagination by painting on canvas. Whichever you choose, both activities require you to focus your mind and completely forget about how you might be feeling for a moment.
For this reason, painting and expressing feelings through art can be an excellent form of mental gymnastics. Research confirms this fact.
2. Increases your concentration
The creativity and attention to detail that some artists imbue in their works often require extremely deep analysis and concentration.
In the same way, to doodle, draw, or paint, you must clear your mind to channel and express what it is you really want to capture on the canvas.
3. Helps reduce anxiety attacks
Fear, dread, and restlessness are feelings that affect some of us more than others. Sometimes, they cause panic and anxiety attacks that need to be controlled.
Fortunately, art therapy, through painting and other techniques has been shown to be a good tool for helping to manage anxiety. That’s because it allows you to divert your attention from any harmful thoughts and focus on your creativity.
4. Reduces stress
An investigation published by the American Art Therapy Association analyzed saliva samples from a group of participants during a drawing and painting session. Their conclusions were extremely revealing.
In fact, the results showed that, after their artistic encounter, the participants in the study presented a significant decrease in their levels of cortisol, ‘the stress hormone’.
5. Helps you disconnect from reality
With the growth of teleworking and daily connection to the Internet, we all need a way to rest our eyes occasionally from our smart screens.
Painting and drawing allow you to occupy your mind with your artistic endeavors. These activities also help to reduce social media addiction and any feelings of anguish due to permanently being connected to social networks.
6. Promotes emotional well-being
The benefits of art therapy for improving emotional well-being have been proven multiple times by the medical profession.
Art is also an ideal tool of expression and catharsis for patients suffering from cancer, mental illness, obesity, and HIV, as well as for victims of trauma, prisoners, and the elderly.
7. Boosts creativity
Art and all its manifestations, particularly painting and drawing, allow you to let your imagination and creativity run riot so you can create your own unique and unusual artworks.
In addition, it’s the perfect medium to create fantastic universes or express, through symbolism, the overriding thoughts and feelings in your mind and heart.
8. Promotes resilience
Like writing, music, or theater, drawing and painting are a means of communication. However, the latter two don’t need words to tell a story. Furthermore, they can help people cope with traumatic or painful experiences.
Art can also be used as a kind of coded communication. This might be represented by a particular color (for example, Picasso’s famous Blue Period) or through other symbols such as the setting, characters, or composition.
9. Renews your will and desire to improve
There are some lucky people who were born with innate artistic abilities that manifested themselves from childhood. However, the vast majority have had to work hard and perfect their technique through trial and error to consolidate their own style.
Bring out your artistic side and improve your mental health
Now that you know some of the main benefits of regularly drawing or painting for your brain and mental health, go ahead and bring out your artistic side at home. Alternatively, seek the help of a professional who can provide you with face-to-face or virtual help.
Finally, remember that you don’t have to be an expert to be a great artist. In fact, it only takes a spark of creativity to bring a new work of art to life.
- Abbing A, de Sonneville L, Baars E, Bourne D, Swaab H. (2019). Anxiety reduction through art therapy in women. Exploring stress regulation and executive functioning as underlying neurocognitive mechanisms. PLoS One. Disponible en: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31794566/
- Kaimal G., Ray K., Muniz J.(2016) Reduction of Cortisol Levels and Participants’ Responses Following Art Making, Art Therapy, 33:2, 74-80. Disponible en: https://doi.org/10.1080/07421656.2016.1166832
- Kaimal G., Ayaz H., Herres J., Dieterich-Hartwell R., Makwana B., Kaiser D., Nasser J. (2017). Functional near-infrared spectroscopy assessment of reward perception based on visual self-expression: Coloring, doodling, and free drawing. The Arts in Psychotherapy. Volume 55. Pages 85-92. ISSN 0197-4556. Disponible en: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.aip.2017.05.004
- Regev, D., Cohen-Yatziv, L. (2018). Effectiveness of Art Therapy With Adult Clients in 2018-What Progress Has Been Made?. Frontiers in psychology, 9, 1531. Disponible en: https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01531
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