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  • Writer's pictureSudha

Simple Ways To Use Drawing Arts For Mental Well-Being

In the hustle and bustle of modern life, finding moments of peace and tranquility can feel like a daunting task. Today I want to discuss one simple yet powerful tool for promoting mental well-being that is often overlooked: drawing.

Whether or not you have formal art training, engaging in drawing activities can offer numerous benefits for your mental health. The act of mindfully drawing itself is a meditative act, which is the reason behind the popularity of Mandala Art Drawing Books for adults.

If you are looking to start drawing activities for stress relief or mental well-being, here are some simple ways to do so.

Getting Started: Intent

Intent must precede any endeavor.

You don't need to be a skilled artist to enjoy the benefits of drawing. Begin by setting aside some dedicated time for creative expression. Create a comfortable and inspiring space for drawing, free from distractions.

Materials and Mediums

Keep it simple with basic drawing materials such as pencils, erasers, paper, and pens. Experiment with different mediums like charcoal, pastels, or colored pencils to discover what resonates with you.

Remember, art as a hobby is different from taking up simple artistic activities focused mainly on mental well-being. For the latter, you don't need to go overboard and spend a lot on supplies.

Here is an Indian video on some low-cost supplies:

Here is a video that recommends some international products for serious beginners looking to start art as a hobby.

Techniques and Means

Start with simple drawing exercises to build confidence and familiarity with the medium.

You can watch free videos and practice basic techniques such as contour drawing, shading, and sketching to develop your skills over time. There are many YouTube channels that teach basic techniques for free.

Once again, if you are not interested in delving too deep into the techniques, you can learn only the basics, and use it for emotional expression, instead of trying to achieve very high levels of expertise.

Methods for Mental Well-being

  • Use drawing as a form of meditation by focusing your attention on the act of creating, allowing your mind to relax and unwind.

  • Express your emotions through drawing, using color, line, and form to convey your inner thoughts and feelings.

  • Engage in observational drawing by sketching objects from your surroundings, bringing within yourself mindfulness and awareness of the present moment.

  • Try your hand at doodling or free-form drawing as a way to tap into your subconscious and let your creativity flow.

Proceeding with Purpose

You start with intent and proceed with purpose.

  • Approach drawing with a spirit of curiosity and experimentation, without worrying about creating perfect or realistic artwork.

  • Allow yourself to make mistakes and embrace imperfection as part of the creative process.

  • Be open to exploring new ideas and techniques, and don't be afraid to push beyond your comfort zone.

Let the art be a guide to help you explore your thoughts and feelings.

When you are drawing, try to take moments of pause to feel what you are feeling. Try to locate where in your body are those feelings or emotions felt the most. If you have significant unaddressed trauma or unresolved painful experiences, the expressive activity can lead to resurfacing of very distressing emotions or memories. In such cases, engaging in art for "self-therapy" without proper support or guidance can be overwhelming and potentially harmful. Therefore, if you find yourself struggling with intense emotions or memories while drawing, it's essential to seek professional help from a therapist or counselor who can provide the appropriate support and guidance to navigate these challenges safely and effectively. Remember, your mental well-being is paramount, and there are resources and support available to help you on your healing journey.

How not to get Stuck

  • Focus on the process of drawing rather than the end result, allowing yourself to enjoy the act of creation without judgment.

  • Practice self-compassion and kindness towards yourself, recognizing that every mark you make on the paper is an expression of your unique creativity.

  • Be patient with yourself as you develop your skills and explore different approaches to drawing.

  • Consistency and regularity in doing a mindful activity is more important than devoting hours on rare occasions.

Benefits of Drawing for Mental Well-being

  • Drawing can serve as a form of self-expression, allowing you to externalize and process your thoughts and emotions.

  • Engaging in creative activities like drawing can promote relaxation, reduce stress levels, and improve overall mood.

  • Drawing promotes mindfulness and presence, helping you to cultivate greater awareness of your thoughts and feelings in the present moment.

  • The act of creating art can boost self-esteem and confidence, providing a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment.

Drawing offers a simple means to explore your emotions, create a period of mindfulness, and eventually promoting mental well-being. If you don't have an arts training, don't let that deter you from exploring this wonderful method of self-expression, relaxation, and personal growth.


Some Resources:


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