Distracts from other worries – it is hard to dwell on troubles once in the flow of a painting. It has the power to engage you so fully, bringing you into the present moment.
Reduces stress – studies show that both creating and observing art can reduce cortisol, the ‘stress hormone’*. Doing something you love also releases endorphins – feel-good chemicals that combat stress and reduce pain.
Builds self-esteem – I feel anything but confident as I start each project. Painting provides a challenge and with each hour I paint, I am building skills. It is an activity with a tangible result and the more I dedicate myself, slowly but surely, the more I can see improvement and feel a sense of achievement.
Creates a healthy state of mind – participants in a 2014 study* who produced art demonstrated: ‘a significant improvement in psychological resilience’ as well as increased levels of “functional connectivity” in the parts of the brain responsible for introspection, self-monitoring and memory. The study, involving participants aged between 62 and 70, also concluded that creating artwork can delay ageing.