Paint yourself happy! Why watercolour painting is good for your mind.
Self-care is quite rightly becoming an increasingly discussed topic in today’s hectic world. The importance of focusing on yourself a little more and in taking steps to look after your physical and mental health should not be underestimated.
Doing things for you creates positive feelings, gives you a confidence boost and reminds you of what makes you happy.
Watercolour painting (in fact, any painting) is a great way to de-stress and is incredibly therapeutic. Everyone should have a go at discovering their inner artist!
Anyone can benefit from playing around with their creativity. A study published by the American Art Therapy Association found (unsurprisingly) that skill level is completely irrelevant – creating art can significantly lower stress levels.
As children most of us enjoyed expressing ourselves through art in all sorts of ways – we created Lego buildings, made scenes with Play-Dough, got messy with finger paints, made salt dough decorations and used crayons and felt tip pens to colour in our dot-to-dots. Painting as an adult can help to reconnect with the feelings of happiness and freedom that we didn’t realise were connected to the activity back then.
Have you ever seen an artist painting when they’re in the zone, lost in their work? When you’re painting it takes your mind off things, it is a distraction. For the duration that you are doing it (even if just a short time) you are focused on that and not on any of life’s stresses. Have you ever been so stuck into an activity that time flies by and before you know it you’ve been doing it for hours? This is what painting can do – like meditation, you can get lost in the practice and come away with a much clearer mind (a bit like decluttering it, as you might with your cupboards!).
Painting is rewarding, for a start you get a physical item when you’re finished, something tangible to show for your efforts that you can keep, gift or pop up on the wall. Sometimes getting started is the hardest part, when you have a blank white sheet of paper in front of you and don’t know where to begin – don’t overthink it (remember, it helps relieve stress!), just go with the flow, put brush to paper and see what happens!
Some people find it difficult to express themselves with words, painting can be a release and a great way to put feelings down on paper in whatever form that might take. It can communicate with others and help you to communicate with yourself. They say a picture tells a thousand words! Your painting will often not finish up as the vision you had when you started – this means you must overcome a few challenges along the way (very relevant to life)!
Painting can help you to get outside into the great outdoors. Personally, I love to get outside and take in the memories, soak up the scenery and the wildlife, snap some photos and then head home, put some music on and paint away. This is my happy place. You then get the mental health benefits of painting as well as the benefits of the fresh air and environment.
So, what are you waiting for? Grab some brushes and give it a go!