July 31, 2013 in Guest Posts
This post is guest written by Lisa Fraser.
“Art teaches nothing, except the significance of life.” ~ Henry Miller
Are There Any Psychological Benefits to Drawing?
There are certainly benefits to using the creative arts to express oneself. It can be used as an outlet for stress for example, which many people can find therapeutic and ultimately beneficial to their well being. Drawing is a great method of communication, and is something that anyone can do to express themselves, as everyone can be creative in some form or another and therefore hopefully find at least some small benefit from it. On the other hand, for people who enjoy drawing as a hobby or job, the benefits could be huge, with improved levels of happiness from doing something you take pleasure in, reduced stress levels, feelings of achievement and many other positive psychological effects.
Drawing with Children
Drawing is particularly good for children or simply those who don’t feel confident or completely comfortable with expressing themselves through a purely verbal means of communication. Young children generally lack the ability to articulate every specific thing they would like to say, and this can be very frustrating for them, so for them, drawing is a way of putting their thoughts, feelings and ideas across to adults. Drawing can also stimulate brain development in young children, as the process and techniques used in making diligent observations can help to encourage an eye for detail and an improved memory as well as improving handwriting and general dexterity. The importance of having art subjects on school curriculums is justified by the visual imagery links that some people find vital to the understanding of other subjects on the curriculum, for instance with subjects such as math and geography, which may require a certain capacity and understanding of visual imagery.
Drawing for Adults
Psychological benefits from drawing for adults could be substantial to the point where it affects a persons day to day living. By drawing out your thoughts and ideas, and letting your imagination loose on paper in a tangible form, you might find yourself releasing some inner tension that you were previously unaware of or you might just find the experience relaxing and refreshing, a sort of catharsis that allows you to restructure your mind and think more clearly. This could then lead you onto solving a problem that you had previously not been able to find a solution to without the therapeutic nature of drawing. Drawing ideas down on paper can also help you share your thoughts and feelings with other people that you might find very difficult to express verbally or otherwise. Self-exploration through drawing could lead you to some insightful conclusions about yourself, as well as improving your mental, physical and emotional wellbeing.
Art and Therapy
Art can be a very effective tool in the treatment of mental health disorders, because the expression it can provide helps people communicate with each other with ultimate emotional freedom, helping them to alleviate stress and help them explore different areas of their creativity. As a result of this, patients may then find that they are able to handle their behavior more effectively, which in turn helps to build their self esteem and awareness. It can also help with developing healthy coping strategies and acceptance of the challenges we face throughout life. Throughout the 20th century, doctors noticed that patients who expressed themselves in drawings, paintings and other creative mediums led to doctors being able to assess and treat patients more effectively. These methods have been used as a treatment in the form of art therapy ever since, usually in conjunction with other forms of therapy such as, behavioral, cognitive and these options on recovery.org. Anyone can use art therapy, either on their own or with help from a professional, and no matter how good as person is with the creative mediums.
Other Psychological Effects
With adults, children and those receiving art therapy alike, drawing and art therapy as an extension can help with interpersonal skills, problem solving skills, increasing attention-span, self-managing techniques and other vital life skills that we all make use of on a daily basis. If drawing was a standard, widely practiced method of managing our stress levels, and something that we could get into the habit of fitting into our busy day to day schedules, then who knows what the psychological impact on our lives could potentially be.
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