There is an enormous amount of benefit to the creative process. Psychologists and mental health experts have discovered that the creative process for any art form, be it visual, literary or performance art, has a therapeutic and expanding effect on the brain. Because of the freedom and control that the creative process allows the brain, doors are unlocked in the mind that have remained closed even through other therapeutic ventures. The creative process has a specific, profound effect on a person’s thought patterns that allows them a fresh perspective on life as a whole.
Now consider how easy it is to initiate a creative process such as drawing and painting. Serious drawers and painters invest in quality canvases, pencils, brushes and paints, but the fact of the matter is, either of these two hobbies can begin with little more than a piece of paper and a basic art utensil. The concept of drawing and painting is incredibly simple: replicate an image with your art materials or conceive an original image with your art materials. Any level of intellect can grasp this process and it does not require any particular level of skill. Plus, the materials one needs to begin are available at any major grocery store.
When you think about how readily available creative activities such as drawing and painting are, and when you think about all the incredible mental health benefits they come with, there is simply no good reason not to engage in one, the other or both. By engaging routinely in the processes of drawing or painting, one can fully express themselves through art, reconnect with their inner child, access parts of their brain that have previously been closed off and resolve issues in their life in a more mentally healthy way. There is even evidence of drawing and painting serving as treatment for addiction and mental disorders through its innate therapeutic qualities. If you are looking for a way to stay busy and to experience a therapeutic process, consider drawing or painting as your next hobby.
Counselors and mental health specialist often talk about the elusive inner child that we all have inside of us. The idea behind the inner child is that we are able to connect to the perspective on life we had as children. Recalling this innocent nature within ourselves is beneficial to ourselves and those we effect. But just why is the inner child important and how do we access it?
The reason that every person’s inner child should matter to them is because there are sound psychological reasons why people should never lose touch with this part of themselves. There are many ways that our brains grow and develop to broaden our perspective on the world and expand our scope as we age. However, as children, we are arguably more in touch with ourselves than any other time in our lives because we have not been influenced by outside factors yet. We are the most in touch with our own inherent qualities as children, and thus more mentally healthy and in tune with our own needs. Therefore, when we are able to access our own inner child, we recall truths about ourselves that we have since forgotten.
Psychologists recommend drawing and coloring as one universal way of getting in touch with your inner child. This is because most of us, at least in North American society, were given basic drawing and coloring materials as children to occupy our time and our minds. Children naturally have large, limitless imaginations and they spend a majority of their time expressing them through pretend and through art. Therefore, sitting down to engage in drawing or painting as adults naturally channels the memory of creating art as children. This simple act can actually make us recall things we have forgotten, open compartments of our minds that have been sealed off and let us access valuable, innocent thought and behavioral patterns that we have long since forgotten about.
One excellent method of caring for yourself is drawing or painting. This may not seem like the most obvious way of balancing yourself and caring for your mental health, but statistically speaking, it will do you a world of good. Artistic projects in general have been found to alleviate symptoms of mental disorders and addictions through their calming effects, the way they organize a person’s thoughts and the feelings of accomplishment they give the artist.
One of the most important mental health aspects of drawing or painting is the calming effect it has on the artist. There is nothing stressful about creating art casually. Even if you dislike the finished product, it is the journey you take to get there that is meaningful. Many artists describe the feeling of art creation as a type of Zen experience, where they are executing a task intuitively instead of logistically. This process creates incredible relaxation for the artist.
This type of artistic process is also very good for organizing a person’s thoughts. In part, this aspect is aided by the calming effect art creation has on an artist. The creative process opens the artist’s mind and relaxes it, preparing it for healthy critical thinking using many parts of the brain. The artist is then free to use their art creation to express how they feel about the mental discoveries they make. For example, many people who are struggling with addiction depict their addiction as an outside entity in their art. This is their way of connecting with the idea that addiction is not part of their identity.
And lastly, painting and drawing can aid your mental health by giving you feelings of accomplishment that you have something worthwhile to show for your time. Your personal art creations are always worthwhile because they are meant to serve as reminders of the way you felt and the personal discoveries you made while you were executing the artistic process. If you are looking for an easy, accessible personal therapy, consider the creative hobbies of painting or drawing!