10 Reasons Why I Love Art for Wellness

1) It activates our braincells. The right hemisphere of our brain is responsible for creativity and imagination. While the left hemisphere is involved in logical task. As you draw, 80% of your right hemisphere gets activated. Therefore, when we are drawing, not only do both our hemispheres work simultaneously but develop its capacity as well. If you’ve been talking about your problems for ages and nothing has changed, why not engage your imagination and creativity and see what happens?

2) It improves memory. Drawing actually adds synapses to the brain’s transmitters. This means that the memories and experiences reserved in your brain are stronger, more striking, and more accessible. There was a study recently done by Dr. Arnold Bresky where he uses art as therapy for Alzheimer’s and Dementia Patients, but anyone can benefit and use a preventative measure. An ounce of prevention is worth 10 pounds of treatment. Take care of yourself and give yourself permission to just create.

3) Concentration Improves, mindfulness is activated. When I am drawing or painting, I need to have full concentration so I can tap into the creative flow, this helps into building concentration power for other tasks or academia, Focusing on one task at a time activates mindfulness and you can train your brain to focus better.

4) Communicate emotion and healing. Drawing dates back to pre-historic eras when it was the only form of communication between humans. Hence, it is through drawings that we study our history. Drawing / Painting allows one to express various emotions, thoughts and feelings, sometimes difficult ones or ones we cannot put to words. Sometimes some of your trauma experiences are ''beyond words''. We now know that trauma often gets processed and encoded in different ways than our everyday memories. It can be very hard to talk about some of your experiences so using art to speak the language of the senses you can

expand the option of a varied and oftentimes diverse communication field. Through drawing you can express what you feel, what you want, your perception, etc. Shy people, or people with verbal disabilities find drawing a better communication to enunciate with others.

5) Release Depressive or Anxious Thoughts through Drawing

Drawing & painting is an art with a healing power. Art, including drawing and painting can be used as a therapy tool for depression, anxiety, and other mental health challenges. Because drawing produces positive brain chemistry like Serotonin, Endorphins, Dopamine, and Norepinephrine. Art makes therapy playful and adventurous.

6. Art is both cathartic and containing.

Expressing yourself through images either drawn or painted “transfers” some of your feelings into the art piece and helps clear you out a bit, like a catharsis. The image then “holds” some of those feelings for you, whether in a sculpture, painting, drawing, book, or a box.

When we feel overwhelmed art can often provide some immediate relief.

7. It promotes strong motor skills.

Parents who introduce children to drawing at a very tender age, even before they can hold pencils properly, is a great way to get the hands working and gripping - it also makes the brain connection of left and right (the creative side) when they realize they can make marks with a big crayon, for example. Current researchers believe that children who are introduced to art early in life develop stronger motor skills because manipulating and gripping of the different devices like pencils, charcoals or brushes is an early way to strengthen their fine motor skills .

8. Improve confidence, self-esteem and self-worth.

When your child creates art, even if it is a scribble, ask them about their project, like why they chose that colour, what does that picture depict, etc. Showing interest in their creations gives them a big confidence boost. Putting it on display on your fridge or a special art wall in the home (you can swap out drawings as they keep creating) gives a sense of pride. It encourages them to draw more and thus, gradually improve. The same applies to adults, if you draw something but you know it isn't quite right, saving this piece and trying again will develop more skills and stimulates your confidence to keep moving forward.

9. Reduce stress through Art

Hard day at the office? On the phone with a difficult colleague or customer? Do you doodle while you work - does it make you feel a little better? Of course! Now imagine you come home, have a delicious meal and take a deep breath and set aside some time to create, even 20 minutes after a workday (it could be a 20 minute doodle or a sketch you work on all week). You are setting time aside to be mindful on a single task, to express yourself and emotions or difficult situations on paper which touches on all of the points above. Painting, sculpting, drawing, are all relaxing and fruitful distractions from your everyday hectic chores.

10. Art is FUN!

Art doesn't have to be hard - if you just give it a go it can be FUN! If you aren't sure, treat yourself to an art class to gain some confidence before you create on your own. Drawing is fun regardless of you being an adult or a child. Especially when you are in company; painting builds a bridge towards a stronger friendship. It is a way of unwinding yourself in the company of others. Imagine yourself with your tribe of best friends, spending a lazy weekend afternoon at a park, painting and sharing jokes, laughing away to your heart’s content! Absolutely picture perfect!

You don’t have to be a master like Van Gogh. All you need is a paper, a pencil, colors and some brushes. Go and draw something, unwrap yourself, stimulate your brain cells and boost your energy! Have fun!

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