6 Brain and Health Benefits of Painting

Keeping your mind and body sharp becomes more important as you age. Although doctors recommend regular exercise to stay physically fit, finding a creative outlet keeps your mind strong while expanding your horizons. Painting provides a fun, new hobby that sharpens your mind and delivers numerous health benefits. Here are six great benefits of painting that promote mental health and improve your overall quality of life.

1. Fosters Creative Growth

Many people put themselves in right-brain or left-brain boxes in their youth, and then decide that is who they are for the rest of their lives. Painting comes easiest to artistic, right-brain people.

Taking up a hobby like painting is not just for the creative types, though. The more analytical left-brainers can stimulate and nurture their creative growth by practicing 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. 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 when they get older.

Painting allows people to express their feelings and emotions without words. 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

Most people imagine that painting 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 when painting. What the artist imagines when beginning a painting often changes drastically during the 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 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. Offers Stress Relief

Stress is a problem everyone deals with to some degree. High levels of stress and anxiety contribute to mental-health issues. Painting and other artistic pursuits provide an emotional release for people that struggle with stress. Focusing on painting allows a person’s mind to relax and let go of all the problems and demands that have led to a high stress level.

When people create something beautiful through painting, they stimulate the creative mind while 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. A low stress level leads to a happier, healthier lifestyle and helps improve overall mental health.

5. Promotes an Optimistic Attitude

Creating beautiful work through painting encourages a more optimistic approach to life. A painter begins by setting goals to further painting skills and become a more advanced artist. When a person reaches the next skill level, the achievement inspires a positive emotional reaction. Over time, a painter’s progress and skill lessens negative emotions and provides 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 feeling of accomplishment. Generating visually appealing artwork that others admire gives the painter a sense of pride and happiness in the work.

6. Nurtures Emotional Growth

Artists pour out their emotions through the process of painting. This practice encourages artists 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 painters. In fact, even therapists suggest painting or drawing as a treatment path for patients who have suffered psychologically painful encounters. Letting out emotions by painting promotes healing through abstract emotional expression.

People that 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 which factors contribute to your varying moods.

Experimenting with different painting forms helps you understand what triggers feelings such as happiness, sadness, love, or anger. Often, the emotions you feel when creating this work 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 may not contribute much to physical fitness, the 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.