The cold winter weather combined with continuing concern for our health and safety during the pandemic may mean that many of us are opting to spend more time indoors these days. To keep boredom from taking hold, try to see this as an opportunity to delve into some fun hobbies that are not only entertaining but can offer us a host of benefits.
Painting, for instance, is a creative outlet as well as a therapeutic activity that can boost mental and physical health. Here are 10 reasons to pick up a paintbrush and try your hand at it!
You may feel like since getting a smartphone or other electronic device your attention span has been on the decline. Combat this by practicing your concentration through painting. Concentrating on whatever you’re painting or working on details that you’ve already painted helps you to nurture your ability to focus. In fact, a 2008 study shows that medical students who participated in eight fine art sessions were able to observe and recall more information more accurately.
Sharpen fine motor skills
Your hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills are put to work when you’re painting. This will boost other fine motor activities like typing or handwriting, but it can also improve general coordination which can help you in other areas like sports or fitness.
A good way to relax
Much like doing a jigsaw puzzle, painting is therapeutic because it makes the mind focus on the images at hand and nothing else. Focusing on one thing at a time gives our racing minds a break, relieves stress, and in turn relaxes the body. Being relaxed can minimize muscle or joint pain, headaches, and the like.
Promotes knowledge of various cultures
Learning a wide range of painting techniques will increase your appreciation for visual art and will encourage you to explore popular modern and historical art from all over the world. The knowledge you collect along the way can be shared with others, promoting sociability within different perspectives, fostering bonds with people you speak to your painting habit about, and increasing social skills, which all lead to higher levels of happiness.
It doesn’t matter if you prefer to paint in a realistic, minimalist, chaotic style, or an invented one of your own. Each mode of artistic expression will push you to innovate, create, and recreate pieces with your own personal flare.
Non-verbal communication skills
Painting is a channel for your deepest thoughts and feelings—which are often things that we find difficult to express verbally. Communicating visually through art can serve as a way for you to release these emotions and thoughts, or as a way to reflect your inner state.
Critical thinking skills
To paint, you must figure out which color palette you want to use, or which brush will give your desired effect, which helps you practice being decisive. Making these types of decisions, even if you see them as a trivial part of a pastime or hobby, will help you promote problem-solving skills and teach you to develop innovative techniques to approach new situations. Ultimately, being decisive can help you become more efficient and alleviate stress.
Sometimes while painting, things don’t go as you had envisioned, leaving you with a poorly executed version of your original idea. In these cases, figuring out how you can rework your painting so that it becomes something you’re satisfied with will transform you into a more capable, determined, and tenacious person. This will help you face disappointment with grace and give you the ability to encourage yourself to reach your goals despite setbacks.
Finally finishing a painting is a great feeling that gives your self-esteem a boost. Receiving positive feedback from supportive friends and family will also increase your sense of self-assurance, not just in painting but in life!
Gives you a positive mindset
The act of creating helps you tune in visual aesthetics and pushes you to see more of the beauty of life. Through painting, you might gain a new appreciation for the minute details of nature, like the texture of a tree’s bark, or the shine of your pet’s fur. Appreciating the world around you will give you a positive mindset which may even decrease your risk of mental illness in the long run.