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How drawing helps to improve mental health

Drawing is an activity most of us have done sometimes in our lives. In the context of drawing and mental health, you do not have to be an artist to benefit from drawing. Of course, if you do something continuously, you will get better, even if your first intention was giving yourself a voice to the world.

How drawing helps to improve mental health by Tony Yeung (Youtube channel: mrtonyyeung)
When you think about the colour combination in the drawing, it can help you to communicate better.

Drawing is an activity most of us have done sometimes in our lives. Notably, in very young children drawing has a special place. Drawing is a form of expression and communication in an age in which no oral language has been acquired. Drawing helps children to make sense of their world. 

Historically, drawing goes back to a time in which no oral language was developed yet. Cave paintings of indigenous people show that need for expression, but also to convey knowledge, culture and customs. In a way, drawing is an integral part of being human. 

In the context of drawing and mental health, you do not have to be an artist to benefit from drawing. Of course, if you do something continuously, you will get better, even if your first intention was giving yourself a voice to the world.

Drawing can improve my mental health. I often create a drawing challenge for myself (e.g. drawing prompt)

How drawing helps you to communicate better

Drawing helps our communicative ability because it allows us to express what we feel or what we want differently. Sometimes words can be restrictive or only describe poorly what we genuinely feel deep down. When we are drawing, we can demonstrate multiple emotions, thoughts, and concepts in only one piece of art. This form of communication is particularly relevant for people with disabilities who have communication deficits or for shy people who are unable to communicate in a fluid and natural way. Adults learn to understand themselves better and how to make sense of their feelings. 

When you think about the colours in the drawing, it can help you to communicate better.

You do not have a disability to benefit from drawing

Most people in the world today know only to well how stressful things can be. Picking up your drawing pad and a few pencils can ease this stress away. You bring to paper what you feel, what stresses you and often find a solution as well. Tension is resolved before it can affect your mental health. Drawing is something you cannot do in the past or the future. You can only draw in the here and now. 

You could try it for yourself. If you like drawing start somewhere and allow your creativity taking you to unknown places. It won’t take long, and you are entirely absorbed from what you are doing. Many people call this state to “be in the zone”. Your mind relaxes; problems seem to melt away. After an hour of drawing, you might notice you feel relaxed and able to take on the world once again. 

The Cerebral connection

When we are drawing, our brain is actively engaged. The left-brain is responsible for logical tasks, while the right brain hemisphere is responsible for creativity and imagination. When we draw, we switch on both sides of our brain. This leads to a much better brain connection and strengthens its capacity. 

More mental health benefits 

As mentioned above, drawing brings us in “the zone”. On the one hand, drawing promotes concentration. As if we draw, we can concentrate on what we want to convey. On the other hand, it helps us to distract from problematic or stressful situations. Drawing puts a kind of cushion between you and what might bother you. While you relax, you start to develop your own pace and create unrestricted works of art (That is the reason why I do drawing prompts videos regularly!).

When you draw more, you want to be more creative.

Strengthening your motor skills

People who love drawing undoubtedly will explore various drawing utensils, such as pencils, markers, charcoal or brushes. Not just do we learn how to use those tools; we also refine our fine motor skills. This is particularly important for children; however, most adults will benefit from better fine motor skills as well.

Above all, drawing is something you can do entirely by yourself or in the company of like-minded people. It will help you to connect to other people, strengthen your interpersonal skills and the way you communicate with others. Time spent in the company of people you like is a great way to nourish your soul. It will create harmony as well as bringing body and mind into sync. This alignment within yourself creates a peaceful and deeply satisfactorily state of mind. 

While you are getting better in your drawing skills, your confidence will grow as well. Have you ever noticed how many people wish they could draw just like you? Now you can communicate to the world or maybe only to yourself better, what matters to you at this moment in time. You will not only feel fabulous with every new drawing you will also get to know yourself from a new perspective. You develop an inner strength which lets you take the world in strides!

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