Known for being a pastime that’s endured for centuries as both a hobby and an occupation, painting remains to be one of the most revered and enjoyable hobbies today. Painting, however, is not limited to being just an artistic endeavor, but also enjoys many health benefits. It’s extremely effective therapeutic and calming techniques, for one, can help increase mental and physical health. In fact, there are many reasons to pick up a paintbrush and try this hobby out, but here are the Top 10 from Health Fitness Revolution and author of the book ReSYNC Your Life Samir Becic:
- Improves concentration – Concentrating on the subject you’re painting or concentrating on improving the details in what you’ve already painted builds essential skills in focus. Learning how to concentrate on the specifics of a project you’re working on helps to foster focus skills needed in the workplace or in education. In fact, a study conducted in 2008 revealed that medical students were able to observe and recall more information after participating in eight sessions that taught fine art concepts and observation techniques.
- Sharpen fine motor skills – From broad backgrounds to fine details, practicing painting improves hand-eye coordination and boosts motor skills. This is helpful in improving fine activities such as typing and handwriting, but painting can also improve coordination in broader activities such as participating in sports.
- Good way to relax – Painting can be therapeutic because it allows the mind to focus on the images at hand and on nothing else. This focus toward one central topic relieves stress on the mind, and in turn relaxes the body. This relaxation minimizes muscle soreness, joint pain, headaches, and other physical ailments. It has similar effects as meditation.
- Promotes knowledge of various cultures – Painting increases your appreciation for visual art by teaching the variety and difficulties of learning techniques. Knowledge of popular modern and historical art pieces and trivia provides you with knowledge that can be shared, promoting sociability within various cultures and degrees of company. Relating with others will foster bonding, increasing social skills and leading to higher levels of happiness.
- Boosts creativity – Whether the painting is abstract or realistic, minimalist or chaotic, paintings are modes of artistic expression. Abstract art requires the artist to create interesting, non-traditional pieces while realistic art requires the artist to come up with imaginative ways to make the image come to life. Artists yearn to be innovative, to create – or even recreate – something with a personal touch, a new flair that reveals one’s deepest expressions and motivations.
- Non-verbal communication skills- Painting inspires you to communicate your deepest thoughts and feelings – even those that you may not be able to express verbally – through your art. They say a picture is worth a 1,000 words and communicating what those words may be – whether they reflect current worldwide events or personal happenstance – being able to communicate on a nonverbal level can serve as a healthy release of emotion.
- Critical thinking skills – Choosing which brush to use or which paints to mix to create the exact color you need makes you a more decisive person. Though it may seem like deciding on “just art,” these types of decisions promote problem-solving skills and teach painters to develop innovative techniques to approach new situations. Decision-making skills make your mind more efficient and this ability can alleviate stress.
- Perseverance – Even the most innovative ideas have the possibility of being terribly executed. If a painting does not turn out the way you envisioned, you become determine to fix the problems until the piece becomes what you want it to be. This cycle of trial and error can last seemingly forever at times, but can makes a more capable, more determined person. When faced with disappointment, you adopt the notion that with hard work, you will be certain to improve, enabling you to further reach your goals in life.
- Improved self confidence – Just as knowing hard work yields better results, finishing a painting that you are happy with feels great and gives you a boost in self-esteem. Getting positive feedback from your peers also increases the sense of self-assurance that comes with making a work of your own.
- Gives you a positive mindset – Creating art teaches you to be attuned with an aesthetic of the visual world around you and makes you appreciate the beauty in and of life. You gain a new appreciation for the texture of a tree’s bark or the fur of a dog, of the various highlights and shadows playing on even the more bare of white walls. Embracing the beauty around you gives you a more positive outlook of the world and can even decrease the risk of mental illness.
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