We all owe it to ourselves to take time to do things that bring us joy. This year and the past several years have been immensely stressful, but these difficult times have also allowed many of us the opportunity to reflect and time to experiment with new methods of self care. It has also highlighted the importance of doing things that quiet the noise of external stresses and bring us into the present.
Painting has always been a stress-reliever for me, but many people are discovering the benefits of a consistent art practice in improving their mental health. Whether used as a way to release emotions about current circumstances or to center yourself, picking up a brush and approaching a canvas have proven benefits for your overall health and emotional well-being. Studies even indicate that art can treat severe mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, PTSD, and phobias!
Painting has substantial power, and I’d like to share three ways a painting practice can be used for stress management and self-care.
Painting Leads to Self-Discovery
Have you ever sat down to draw or paint something, and been surprised by what emerged on the canvas? Perhaps a painting ended up darker than you anticipated, or you intended to create a certain thing and emerged on the other side with something completely different.
I’ve been there before, and had the release of working through something going on in my head on the canvas without even realizing it! Emotions can seep out while working on a piece of art. How amazing is that—painting helps you discover, recognize, and work through thoughts and feelings lingering in your subconscious!
Painting Boosts Self Esteem
Finishing a piece of art is a huge victory. Whether it’s your first painting ever or your one-thousandth, each completed canvas is an accomplishment. I always feel proud and elated when I put down a paintbrush and know that I’ve finished something I was working towards. A painting practice can provide this daily sense of accomplishment and improve your self-confidence as you continually reach goals.
Painting is Good for Overall Mental Wellness
Creating a piece of art legitimately lowers your overall stress levels from a physiological standpoint, which plain and simple makes you feel better! Painting provides a distraction that gives your brain a much-needed break from its typical thought patterns. Instead of looping anxious or stressful thoughts, you’re focusing on something else, allowing the opportunity to mentally reset.
So, are you convinced yet?! Go ahead, pick up a paintbrush and canvas, and be creative. You deserve it! And if you’d like some guidance and support, I invite you to consider one-on-one coaching with me and my online courses and membership. Nothing gives me more pleasure than helping artists succeed!