It is important to keep your mind and body sharp throughout your lifetime, but it becomes even more important as you age. Physical fitness is important for your health, but finding a creative outlet keeps your mind active while also broadening your horizons. A fun, new hobby like painting can sharpen your mind as well as provide a number of health benefits. Abstract artist Charlie Steg has put together five great benefits of painting that promote mental health and improve overall quality of life.
Painting Can Help Manage Stress
Stress is a common condition experienced by many people. An overgeneralization of the term would lead one to believe that all stress is negative. However, stress has several different meanings that all have something to do with our ability to manage it. The fact is that the act of creating can be an incredibly effective way to manage stress. When we’re faced with something that we’re not necessarily ready for, such as a complicated project or a change in career path, it can be difficult to stand back and assess the situation from a dispassionate standpoint. With painting, however, we can literally “examine the scene from the bottom up” by creating a representation of it in paint. While a simple painting could be used as a means to express stress, the benefits of using paint to illustrate the situation are much broader. You could spare yourself the writer’s block and try a few different approaches to this calming activity.
Painting Fosters Creative Growth
Creative activities are proven to help develop your brain in several ways. One of the best ways to stimulate the brain is through painting. One study found that when children were given the opportunity to create in a creative way, instead of just reading or doing sums, they showed more interest in learning new things and processing information. This study concluded that painting can be a powerful tool for children to stimulate their brains and help them grow more effectively, explains Charlie Steg.
Painting Develops Eye-Hand Coordination
One of the first things our brains learn to do is to look around and analyze the situation. This process of “scanning” involves our eyes, which see in low-light conditions, and our hands, which are used to hold and manipulate things. When we’re creating, however, our brain is looking at the various layers of color and structure that make up the canvas and “tunneling” through them to see the picture from a different perspective. This increased eye-hand coordination develops over time and allows us to create more intricate works of art. Most notably, it results in better spatial skills, such as being able to draw things that are further away from you.
Painting Boosts Mood
Another thing that painting can do is boost our mood. There is some research to suggest that painting has a “reward” effect on our moods – that is, when we create works of art, we tend to feel happier than usual. This may be because painting is a creative activity that helps us to relax, or it could be because of the effects that creativity has on our mood. Since painting is a creative activity, it could also be that the calming effects of painting are transferred to our minds and moods when we’re not actively creating. Regardless of the reason, painting can be a great way to unwind after a hard day at work or school, adds New Jersey painter Charlie Steg.
Painting Builds Brain Power
Last but not least, painting has been shown to build brain power. Through conceptual visualization and implementation, painting boosts memory recollection skills and sharpens the mind. A person who regularly engages in creative activities such as writing, painting, and drawing has a lower risk of developing memory loss.
In conclusion, painting has a number of benefits beyond any other form of art. It can help you relax, improve your mood, and stimulate your brain. When used as part of a creative process, it can also develop eye-hand coordination and improve your memory.