I always suspected there were... Recently I learned of some studies confirming significant health benefits associated with the process of creating paintings.
Reduces stress and anxiety
Improves fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination
Increases creativity and self-expression
Boosts cognitive function and memory
Enhances emotional well-being and mood
Provides a form of therapy and a sense of accomplishment.
***You can checkout a list of just a few research studies that suggest the health benefits of painting at the bottom of this post.
Even without all this evidence I can tell you painting (or creating in any medium) can be like medicine. Better yet! It is like preventative care or exercise. I can tell you from my own personal experience if I get 30 minutes to one hour or more of time at the easel or in front
of a sketch book it helps me. I feel like I have a quick win built into my day. Almost like a good workout at the gym.
Much like with exercise, when establishing a creative practice, the key is the mindset brought to each task. Based on my personal experience I know if I focus on the process of learning, improving and embrace the struggle, it inevitably goes well. If I stress over doing things perfectly or creating a masterpiece the odds of a significant letdown increase greatly.
So it is of upmost importance to enjoy the process. Even if it seems like a fruitless struggle. We never lose. We only learn. Meanwhile if we create consistently with the right mindset, we find ourselves in a virtuous cycle. Creative energies are used, the exercising of these energies makes them stronger and more confident over time. There is no need for inspiration to motivate us because we develop creative momentum and we enjoy the process even more.
Hope you make some time to create today! Here are some of my recent works. Hope you enjoy!
Studies referenced for this post:
"The Impact of Art Therapy on Anxiety and Depression: A Systematic Review" (2017) by L. Nijs, P. Verhagen and S. Murray, which found that art therapy can be effective in reducing anxiety and depression.
"Painting and Drawing as Therapeutic Interventions in Mental Health Care" (2015) by L. Cardella, which reviewed studies and found that artistic expression through painting and drawing can help with symptoms of mental illness, stress, and emotional regulation.
"The Effect of Art Therapy on Stress, Anxiety, and Depression in Women with Breast Cancer" (2015) by A. Hwang, J. Lee, and J. Lim, which found that art therapy can have a positive impact on reducing stress, anxiety, and depression in women with breast cancer.
"The Effect of Coloring on Anxiety in Patients Undergoing Chemotherapy" (2015) by L. Lu and C. Wong, which found that coloring can help reduce anxiety in patients undergoing chemotherapy.