Benefits of painting and its impact on mental health

Painting Can Positively Affect Your Mental Health. Here’s How.

Taking care of your mental health and wellbeing is as important as your physical health. To keep your mind active and strong it is important to engage yourself in certain activities that give you pleasure and joy. Art is one such domain that can help in expanding your creative growth. We have compiled a list of some benefits of painting for mental health.

Exercising and taking a good diet regularly helps in keeping your brain and body healthy and fit. Along with that, having a creative hobby that makes you feel happy, like painting, can be therapeutic for your mind and body.

Having painting as your hobby doesn’t mean that you need to display great artistic skills. It is about having the act as a part of your life, as more than just an artistic endeavour. “It’s the process, not the product,” says Megan Carleton, an art therapist at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Art helps in calming your mind and increasing your mental health. As shown in a recent documentary, I Remember Better When I Paint, the cognitive effects of making art are too many. Drawing and painting stimulates memory. So much so that it finds use in the treatment of patients with dementia. It also helps a great deal with anxiety.

Painting is known to be therapeutic as it can help in increasing your creative growth and relieving mental stress. Read on to know some great benefits of painting for mental health.

1. Enhances Concentration

One of the greatest benefits of painting for mental health is that it helps in enhancing concentration. While painting, you can either have a subject in front of you or you can paint from your imagination. Both ways, it will help improve your concentration. This is because during the process, your focus is concentrated on your subject. Anchoring the attention on the subject and little details enhances your concentration skills.

Painting also has a great impact on observation skills. When you go through the process of correcting, you are paying attention to the details. You are focusing on the importance of every stroke and every curve. In the long run, this process can positively influence your observational skills. Thus preparing you for its application in other spheres of life.

2. Fosters Creative Growth

Creative block is not restricted to creators and their process of creation. Sometimes, you might not be feeling motivated to accomplish a task. A simple task can seem overwhelming.  This can happen due to a creative block in a person’s mind.

Let’s understand creative block first. Creative blocks are barriers to inspiration. They are the blocks that prevent you from reaching out to your creativity. Thus making you feel stuck and disrupting the process of creation.

This may look endearing. But good news! Creative blocks are pretty common and one can snap out of it with much ease. For this you need to engage yourself in activities that you enjoy doing and free your mind from other things. Painting is one such activity that can help in fostering your creative growth. It is not necessary that only artistic, right-brain people can improve their creativity by taking up painting as a hobby or occupation. Painting can help nurture anyone’s creative skills and growth. If you practice it with proper commitment and dedication, it will foster your creative growth.

For instance, you can take the Abstract Art Challenge on GoSocial, India’s leading online artist-friendly platform. In this challenge you will have to make an abstract painting. Painting your abstract thoughts on the canvas can turn into a beautiful art. You can project your creative imagination by working on something non-traditional and unique.

3. Reduces Anxiety and Promotes Stress Relief

Over the years, mental health psychologists have examined that art and mental health share a positive relation. Almost everyone deals with some form of stress in their day-to-day life. But prolonged stress is bad news. High amounts of stress and anxiety can badly affect your mental and physical health. While it is not possible to completely escape it, you can take steps to reduce and overcome it.

One great way of managing this is through art. Art acts as an outlet for people to release their emotions. Painting is one such activity. It helps you by taking your focus away from the casual disturbances. By focusing your attention on the subject, you let go of all other thoughts and problems. In can help in unburdening and relaxing your mind.

Painting is therapeutic because it relieves your mind and body from stress and anxiety. Releasing your stress and anxiety through your painting will help you get rid of the mental pressures. It can help lower your stress levels and thus improve your overall mental health.

4. Boosts Self-Esteem

Art in some or the other form, is important at every stage of life. As humans, we rely heavily on the feedback of our peers. The urge to create and share what we have created is very high in us. By indulging in the age old mechanism of peer-review, we can gain more confidence in us. The top 3 ways in which this happens are:

(a) Earned sense of accomplishment

Taking up a project, spending time doing it and taking it to the finishing line, sparks a sense of accomplishment. This is what happens in the case of a painting. From an idea to creation, you are in constant touch with your sense of responsibility. It is a task on your list and your constant desire is to tick it off. Hence, when you finish the project, you encounter a positive affirmation.

(b) Learning a new skill

For a lot of us, being productive is quite important. We equate productivity to a new skill acquired. As an amateur, when you start painting, you are learning something daily. The new additions to your skill set fills you with confidence and restores your faith in yourself.

(c) Compliments everywhere

Everyone loves compliments. Compliments are like affirmations. They affect us in a positive way. This is another benefit of painting on mental health. When you share your artwork with your family and friends, their appreciation boosts your self-esteem.

Even if you make mistakes in your painting, don’t feel sad about it. Learn to embrace your mistakes, and work on it. This will enhance your self-confidence.

5. Advances Emotional Growth

Painting allows an individual to express his/her emotions and feelings non-verbally. On the blank canvas you can project your emotions and your thoughts with the paint brush. If you don’t feel comfortable in opening up to people by sharing your feelings and emotions with them, then painting can be a great alternative. Through your art you can express what’s going inside your mind. Painting helps in advancing emotional growth as it allows individuals to release their inner thoughts and emotions. 

While painting you may realize and discover different sets of emotions that you might not have been aware of before. Through your painting you can express those emotions and feelings. You can also reflect on these suppressed emotions and tackle them. In the long run, this will help you understand yourself better. You will get a better perspective of why you think and how you react. This will lend you a better understanding of your emotional state and personality. 

6. Cultivates Positive Mindset

Among the several cognitive benefits of painting, one is that it helps in cultivating a positive mindset. A positive mindset is very important for a healthy mind and body. High levels of stress, anxiety, and pressure can contribute to a negative state of mind. This can deteriorate your overall health.

Painting can help you by relieving stress and problems. This will help you achieve a more positive approach towards yourself . If you are engaging yourself in something that gives you pleasure and joy, like painting, it will make you happy and positive.

Reiterating once again, there are some great benefits of painting for mental health. The cognitive benefits of painting are very valuable and aids in improving mental health. This stands true for any other hobby as well. When you focus on the positives and happiness you start the process of self-healing. This offers balance to your mental strength and equips you with the tools to handle stress.

If you are an art, photography or writing enthusiast, try GoSocial for thousands of prompts and ideas that will help you on your creative journey.