Painting For Mental Health
Updated: Jan 13
I have always found that a few hours of painting in the studio rebalances me and helps me refocus. There is a positive connection between art and mental health, and activities such as painting, drawing or sculpture are known to lower stress levels and promote mental calmness. I am an introvert, which means I get my energy from time spent alone rather than time spent with people.
I love spending time with people but always need a few hours (sometimes days!) to recharge afterwards. Creating art takes my mind off my everyday life and provides a relaxing distraction.
After painting, I feel fulfilled. My cup is topped up, and I can go out into the world and give. When I don't get time alone, I feel depleted and drained. Painting recharges my batteries. It is part of my self-care and daily routine where possible. Luckily, it is also my job!
Mental health researcher Dorien Eising found that painting alleviates anxiety, depression, and stress. People who engage in painting experience a boost in confidence and feel more engaged and resilient. This is the case for me, and painting has helped me manage anxiety over the years.
Landscapes, seascapes and subject matter that show nature at its best draw me in. I love calm beaches, wild skies and seas, and isolated environments. The feedback I often get about my paintings is they provoke positive emotions in the viewer, who feel calmer and more relaxed as a result.
I love that my paintings generate these feelings in people, and I want to create more of them for this reason. Painting is therapeutic and a healthy way to relax. I think everyone should be doing it, whether they call themselves an artist or not! Painting is therapeutic because it allows the mind to focus on the work at hand and on nothing else. Focusing on one central topic relieves stress on the mind, and in turn, relaxes the body. This relaxation can even minimise muscle soreness, joint pain, headaches, and other physical ailments. How amazing is that?
Painting is calming for me. It allows my mind to relax and let go of any problems and demands that may have led to stress. When people create something beautiful through painting, they stimulate the creative mind while relieving mental strain.
I want my paintings to make people feel good. I want my paintings to make people feel relaxed and calm when viewing them and to continually bring joy and space to those who choose to live with them. That is my purpose as an artist.