Why is Art Good For Mental Health?

When was the last time that you did something just for the fun of it? Not because you had to work or were trying to improve a skill or earn money. As children, we all spent so much time doing things we enjoyed, so it’s a sad reality that this is rarely the case in adulthood. We all know that things are busy, and none of us get as much time as we’d like, but prioritizing time for fun is important.

Many of us are in such bad habits of using any free time we have to sit and scroll our phones, and often that doesn’t leave us any more relaxed and doesn’t feel fun or fulfilling like lots of other activities do. If you need a hobby and like doing something for pure enjoyment, why not take up art? You don’t need to be good at it, you don’t need to do it to get better, earn money, start a business, or impress anyone. Do it ‘just because’- it’s good for your mental health, and here’s why. 


Art demands your attention. Whether you’re drawing, painting, or crafting, the process needs you to concentrate on the task at hand- and this focus pulls you away from your thoughts and worries. It helps you to clear your mind of stress, focus on the present and allows you to live in the here and now (which so many of us are not good at doing). Anxiety is often worries of the future, depression is sadness of the past. But the present moment is often a worry-free space if you just allow yourself to be present in it. 


Art of all kinds is a natural stress reliever. Engaging in activities like knitting, painting, or drawing all induces a relaxation response in your brain. If you’re a total beginner to art and don’t know where to start, how about downloading some adult coloring pages in pdf, get some colorful pens and fill in the sections? No artistic skills are needed, and this can be so relaxing. As you immerse yourself in the creative process, stress levels decrease, bringing about a feeling of calm and balance.


The materials, colors, textures, and even the smells of art supplies can all provide a sensory experience. Engaging your senses in this way is another way to ground you in the present moment and bring you back to the here and now. Many art activities involve slow and deliberate movements, syncing naturally with controlled breathing. This could be cutting paper, molding clay, or wrapping fabric for tie dye; whatever task it is, these kinds of actions create a meditative rhythm. 


Setting and achieving small goals in your art can be really rewarding. Completing a drawing or mastering a new technique boosts confidence and provides a sense of fulfillment. Even if you’re not setting out to become a best-selling artist, watching yourself improve is still nice. These positive feelings all help to contribute to a more optimistic and mindful mindset.

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Todd Smekens

Journalist, consultant, publisher, and servant-leader with a passion for truth-seeking. Enjoy motorcycling, meditation, and spending quality time with my daughter and rescue hound. Spiritually-centered first and foremost. Lived in multiple states within the USA and frequent traveler to the mountains.

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