Can Art Really Make Me Feel Better?

There is much evidence to suggest that art can make you feel better, time and time again it has been proven that art is healing to our mental health.  For a happier and healthier 2019, it is time to pick up the pencil or the brush and create…

Well-being 

Creating art is very healing, although I’ve always been aware of this I’ve become very knowing of this as I have got older. I used to only create art if there was a purpose such as a qualification or a paid commission involved.  I think this is one of the unfortunate side effects of studying art or making art for money.

It all changed a few years ago when I starting teaching art because I started seeing the benefits of just doing art for the pleasure of it. Another important influence was working with someone very creative and inspiring.  I noticed that this work colleague always seemed cheerful and grounded despite some quite challenging issues in her life.

Drawing for drawings sake

I knew that she was an artist and after some conversations I discovered that this work friend did something creative most days and she wasn’t bothered by the outcome.  This was alien to me, if I created something I had to sell it! I realised that this was a very limiting view of art and so I started creating just for creating sake.

I immediately noticed a massive improvement in my mood and general well-being. Drawing and painting has always been the one activity where I am able to become completely engrossed and switch off.  I like reading but when I have a lot on my mind I can’t read, I turn to my art.

Picking up the sketchpad for no reason but just to enjoy it is liberating

I feel very fortunate to have art in my life, in terms of teaching it to others and that I’m able to do it.  An art teacher once described his love of art as a ‘light that once switched on was on for life‘ at the time I thought this was rather over-dramatic.  I have come to learn that it is true for me and many others.  Once you have the ‘bug’ of art it stays with you throughout life.  I am quite privileged in my teaching position to see learners develop a love for art that stays with them for life.

I think doctors are all too ready to prescribe anti-depressants for our emotional wounds but before you turn to tablets, why not try art?

Art is a powerful form of therapy

What do you think, has art helped you through difficult times? Do share below…

 

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7 thoughts on “Can Art Really Make Me Feel Better?

  1. I agree very much with your point of view on this. I’m in my 40s but have a chronic pain injury which affects everything, especially the joy I used to have in movement. I used to run cross country and climb mountains and found peace and joy and a rhythm in both. Now I can’t even walk down the road without bad pain. But in art, well more in the dance of light and colour all around me which is then reflected in art, I find the same joy I used to have while running or climbing. Interestingly I did the Inktober challenge thing this year and although I think the exercise was good for me in some ways, the fact that I forced myself to draw seemed to suck the joy out of it.

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  2. Sue Rowland

    I agree with this article. For me concentrating on the act of drawing or painting switches off my brain from any worries or busy thoughts…its like a sort of mindfulness as you focus on the moment.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I really enjoyed your post and couldn’t agree more. For me, art allows the mind to create whatever it wants but the practice of producing the art is very relaxing and grounding – its helped me no end through times of stress/worry! It really is like a mindfulness meditation!

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  4. SarahB

    Since starting a painting/drawing course in Sept I’m pretty certain my mental state and work/life balance has improved and this can’t be just coincidence. I think it’s the freedom the creative process brings to play and experiment plus the lack of pressure to “produce something” (unless of course you impose this on yourself!) and an increased awareness of everything around you.

    Liked by 1 person

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