Can Painting Help Your Mental Health?
Is painting for your mental health important? Art Therapy is growing in popularity and many professionals recognize the positive benefits of having a hobby. Art Therapy has been recognized as an effective intervention for improving mood, sleep, depression, anxiety and mood disorders. Here are just some of the ways in which artistic expression through painting can benefit your mental health.
In What Ways Can Painting/Art Benefit Your Mental Wellbeing?
- Creative activities such as drawing, sculpting, painting, photography, and music are stimulating and enjoyable hobbies that can reduce your stress levels and leave you feeling relaxed and calm. When you create art, you are engaging your creative side, which can lead to greater flexibility and higher self-awareness. As an art therapist, I see how painting helps clients manage emotional and physical symptoms of depression. A depressed client may have negative thoughts and memories that are unresolved or stored deep within him/her, which makes creating art therapy as an important part of their recovery.
- Motor skills such as painting require fine motor skills, which are essential for fine motor coordination, hand-eye coordination, and visual-spatial skills. This allows the artist to express themselves with creativity and allows for greater expression than with other mediums such as photography and sculpture. While painting requires a certain amount of trial and error, once you master the techniques and begin to feel more confident, you will find that your work improves in quality and takes on a life of its own.
Painting/Art Benefits Continued
- Another of the physical health benefits associated with painting is increased muscle mass. A sedentary lifestyle, coupled with poor dietary choices and increasing stress can result in weight gain. By creating art, you engage your muscles and provide yourself with an outlet for your frustration and stress. Muscle stimulation is one of the most beneficial aspects of this type of therapy, as the more you engage in it, the better the results you will see. You are also better able to cope with everyday activities, when your muscles are feeling strong and limber.
- Stress relief is another benefit to creating art. Painting forces you to be more creative and to put your imagination to work. Your body releases chemicals that make it feel good and these release compounds can actually help you reduce your stress levels. As you create art, you are taking control of the imagery you see and using it as a means to release your emotional pain and distress. In the midst of our crazy world, we need to find ways to be creative and to take a break from time to time. Art Therapy offers you a way to do both.
These mental health benefits are great, but the real reason that people like painting is because it creates a sanctuary where they can let go of all of their stress and frustration. When you are able to quiet your mind and just focus on creating the artwork, you can feel like a different person. It gives you a chance to create something beautiful and meaningful. And painting is one of those things that can last forever. Therefore, we can conclude that painting offers therapeutic effects which can as a result help to benefit your mental health. In fact, some of the worlds most famous painters struggled with mental health issues at points such as Leonardo Da Vinci.