How The Simple Act Of Drawing Changes Your Life

“I sometimes think there is nothing so delightful as drawing.” Vincent van Gogh’s words resonate with many of us. But why does drawing bring such delight? On the surface, it’s a fun and entertaining activity. However, beyond the temporary pleasure of putting pencil to paper or stylus to screen, beach wall decor for living room offers remarkable long-term benefits for our lives and our brains.

1. Relieves Stress

Living in the modern world undeniably comes with its stresses. In the US, 55% of the population reported experiencing stress the previous day. This statistic highlights the importance of taking “me time” to function effectively in our chaotic lives.

Drawing can be a fantastic way to step out of the fast-paced motion of everyday life. One of the greatest things about drawing is that you don’t have to be Leonardo da Vinci to reap the benefits. Simply doodling shapes can kickstart your journey to a healthy, stress-free mind. Studies, such as one published in The Journal of the American Art Therapy Association in 2016, have shown that art-making significantly lowers cortisol levels (the stress hormone) in participants.

2. Fosters Creative Thinking

Contrary to popular belief, humans can thrive using both the left and right sides of their brains. The theory of one-sided brain dominance is not widely accepted among scientists. Many great achievers throughout history, like Albert Einstein, were both analytical and creative thinkers.

Whether you consider yourself more of a right-brain or left-brain person, drawing can ignite your creative juices. When you start drawing, your mind instinctively envisions vivid colors, shapes, and ideas with ease. Art also plays a crucial role in the brain development of children and teenagers, enhancing observation, imagination, and pattern recognition.

3. Improves Quality of Life for Dementia Patients

Alzheimer’s and dementia patients, who often struggle to verbalize their thoughts, can benefit greatly from drawing. With around 10 million new global dementia diagnoses yearly, continuous studies explore ways to improve the quality of life for sufferers.

Drawing allows dementia patients to express emotions comfortably through visual and motor skills. This creative outlet can combat reduced self-esteem, focus, and attention span, offering significant therapeutic benefits. The documentary “I Remember Better When I Paint” provides an excellent overview of recent studies into the benefits of art for dementia patients.

4. Boosts Focus and Strategic Thinking

Drawing not only benefits dementia patients but also enhances focus and strategic thinking for individuals of all ages. Creating art develops and stimulates brain function, building muscle memory that applies to other tasks.

Strategic thinking is exercised through analyzing color combinations and perceiving surroundings when creating art. Whether it’s a simple doodle or a complex portrait, drawing hones your ability to think strategically and creatively.

5. Improves Holistic Health

Holistic health involves caring for our entire being—body, mind, and spirit. Drawing improves brain function through increased focus and creativity, leading to broader health benefits. Studies show that having a creative outlet can boost confidence and self-esteem, enhancing social skills and confidence in various life areas, such as work and relationships.

6. Grows Blood Flow to the Brain

Blood flow to the brain is crucial for delivering oxygen and glucose, vital components for normal function. A study at the College of Nursing and Health Professions found that art activities significantly increased serotonin levels and blood flow in the brain’s prefrontal cortex in both artists and non-artists.

Interestingly, even admiring others’ artwork can stimulate increased blood flow to the brain by up to 10%, suggesting a trip to the local art gallery could be beneficial for brain health.

7. Triggers the Reward Center of Our Brain

Drawing activates the prefrontal cortex, related to the brain’s reward system. When this reward center is stimulated, the memory centers of the brain pay attention, making the experience enjoyable and repeatable. Essentially, drawing can be a scientifically rewarding experience, encouraging you to continue the activity.

8. Helps You Process Your Emotions

Great artists throughout history have created emotionally charged works, provoking strong reactions in observers. Expressionism, an art movement from the early 20th century, focuses on representing emotions rather than realism.

You don’t need to be a professional artist to process your emotions through drawing. Art can be a creative outlet for people struggling with emotions, allowing them to express feelings without words. This process can lead to reflection and a better understanding of one’s emotions once a drawing is completed.

9. Liberates Concealed Emotions

Drawing can help individuals recognize and deal with repressed emotions, such as past trauma or abuse. Art therapy, rooted in the theory that creative expression encourages healing and mental well-being, has been used for decades. Drawing, as a part of art therapy, allows patients to discuss difficult subjects they might otherwise find hard to express.

10. It’s Fun!

Lastly, drawing is fun! While there are scientific reasons involving serotonin and brain activity, the simple joy of creating art transcends all ages, backgrounds, and abilities. Whether it’s desktop doodles or iconic masterpieces, drawing can bring immense pleasure and satisfaction.

Remember, you don’t need to be Rembrandt or Michelangelo to enjoy drawing. The key is to draw for yourself, not others. Even a simple stick figure can bring a smile to your face.

Conclusion

Drawing is more than a hobby; it’s a powerful tool for enhancing mental and emotional well-being. Whether you’re doodling during a meeting or creating intricate custom painted surfboards, the act of drawing offers numerous benefits that can transform your life. Embrace the joy of drawing and let it unlock a healthier, happier you.