Keeping your mind and body sharp is important throughout our entire lives, but it becomes even more important as you age. While staying physically fit is important for your health, finding a creative outlet keeps your mind strong while also expanding your horizons. Painting provides a fun, new hobby that sharpens your mind and delivers numerous health benefits. We’ve put together six great benefits of painting that promote mental health and improve overall quality of life.
1. Painting Fosters Creative Growth
Many people put themselves in either the right-brain or left-brain boxes when they’re younger, and then decide that is who they are for the rest of their lives. Painting comes easiest to artistic, right-brain people. But this doesn’t necessarily mean left-brainers won’t benefit from painting.
Taking up a hobby like painting isn’t just for the creative types. The more analytical left-brainers can stimulate and nurture their creative growth by painting as well. Practice and focus, two skills inherent in left-brain individuals, allow these people to learn creative skills at their own pace.
2. Painting Strengthens Memory
Painting boosts memory recollection skills and works to sharpen the mind through conceptual visualization and implementation. People who frequently use creative outlets such as writing, painting, and drawing have less chance of developing memory loss illnesses, like dementia and Alzheimer’s, as they age.
Painting also allows individuals a chance to express their feelings and emotions without words. It can be tough opening up sometimes, so painting is a great way to release inner thoughts. Individuals that paint use art to overcome shyness and convey their personality. Using artwork to tell a story lets someone who is shy let go of normal social reservations.
3. Builds Problem-Solving and Motor Skills
A lot of people think that painting only improves creative skills, but many would be surprised to know that it promotes critical thinking, too. An artist must think conceptually to bring multiple solutions to life while painting. What the artist imagines when beginning a painting often changes drastically during the painting process, due to color limitations or unexpected outcomes that occur during artistic implementation. The artistic vision evolves during the painting process, building important problem-solving skills. Thinking outside the box becomes second nature to a painter.
Motor skills also improve when a person picks up painting as a hobby. Dexterously handling a paintbrush increases mobility in the hands and fingers. The fine motor skills that a painter develops eventually become mental shortcuts that the brain implements in everyday life.
4. Painting Provides Stress Relief
Stress is a problem everyone deals with to some degree during all stages of life. High levels of stress and anxiety contribute to mental health issues. Painting and other artistic pursuits offer an emotional release or outlet for people that struggle with stress or are having a stressful moment in their lives. Focusing on painting allows a person’s mind to relax and let go of all the problems and demands that may have led to stress.
When people create something beautiful through painting, they stimulate the creative mind while also relieving mental strain. Releasing anxiety in the form of painting helps a person unwind and let go of all the pressures that plague the mind. It’s no surprise that low-stress levels lead to a happier, healthier lifestyle and helps improve overall mental health.
5. Promotes an Optimistic Attitude
Did you know that creating beautiful work through painting encourages a more optimistic approach to life? A painter starts by setting goals to advance their painting skills and become a more experienced artist. When a person reaches the next skill level, their achievement inspires a positive emotional reaction. Over time, a painter’s progress and skills deter negative emotions and provide pleasure and happiness for the individual. Painting boosts self-esteem and inspires people to reach new levels of skill.
Painting also produces a relaxing, open environment where artists feel safe to explore their own creativity. The reward of growing and expanding artistic skills creates a sense of accomplishment. Creating visually appealing artwork that others admire gives the painter a sense of pride and happiness in the work.
6. Painting Nurtures Emotional Growth
Artists pour out their emotions through the process of painting. This practice encourages individuals to look at their own emotional state and take stock of emotions they may not even realize they have. Releasing emotions through artwork is a cathartic experience for many people, at all ages. In fact, many therapists suggest painting or drawing as a treatment for patients who have suffered psychologically painful encounters. Letting out emotions by painting promotes healing through abstract emotional expression.
Those who paint experience an increase in their emotional intelligence level. Allowing your emotions to come out in painting helps you understand your own emotional state and realize what contributes to your varying moods and stress levels.
Playing around with different painting types can help you understand what triggers certain feelings such as happiness, sadness, love, or anger. Often, the emotions you feel while creating this work can project onto the people that view your paintings. Painters have the ability to bring others happiness, sharing their positive mindset with viewers. This skill makes painters better company for themselves and those around them.
While painting might not contribute much to physical fitness, the cognitive benefits to overall health are incredibly valuable. Given all the beneficial attributes to this artistic hobby, it is clear that painting builds strong mental health in individuals of every age. Taking up painting promotes a happy mood not only in the artist but also in people around them.