woman artist sitting with presenting panting

How Drawing Helps Improve Creativity and Mental Health

Drawing is not only a relaxing hobby but also a way to improve your creativity and mental health. Each one of us has experienced stress at some point—it is a normal part of life. But despite it being normal, causes and effects of stress can differ from person to person. 

There are various ways that you can eliminate stress. One of the activities that you could do to get rid of it and, at the same time, improve your creativity and mental health is by drawing.

Drawing is a form of communication and expression through visual arts. Historically, the earliest known drawings made by humans, which scientists think is about 73,000 years old, were found in a South African cave. This was when the oral language had not been developed yet.

Creativity and mental health 

Summoning your creativity on a paper or canvass is an effective way of enhancing your mood. Drawing relaxes your mind, promotes concentration, and brings you in “the zone.”

As a matter of fact, there is a study that suggests the effectiveness of art therapy in people with non-psychotic mental health disorders or neuroses, such as depressive disorders and anxiety disorders like phobias, panic attacks, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

Although seeing a licensed therapist is advantageous as he/she can professionally tailor your art therapy activities, you do not necessarily need to see a professional to start your journey on art therapy.

artist drawing pencil portrait close-up

One of the crucial steps that you should first do is to learn the basics of art therapy. There are many online personal development courses out there about art therapy. These online courses are probably some of the most easy-to-understand classes that you can find:

Introduction To Art Therapy

This online course covers art therapy, its origins and science, and how it can change the way you live your life. You will also learn simple art exercises to reduce daily stress, art therapy tools that can help you feel more balanced, and how art therapy can improve your communication.

Arts Therapy: How To Use Arts Therapy With Other People

Learn how art therapy improves your physical and mental health, as well as your emotional well being. You will discover how you can positively manage your feelings and increase your confidence and self-esteem through art.  

Arts Therapy: For Greater Understanding Of The Self

This online course is for you if you want to have a greater understanding of yourself and want to express yourself better. When you express yourself freely, you will encourage and promote a healthier, happier life. What is also good about this course is that it is suitable for all levels, which is perfect for beginners. As long as you have an open mind and willingness to engage in the creative process, you will surely benefit from this course.

female-artist-painting

Drawing can help boost memory

study proves that drawing can enhance memory and improve the retention of information—better than taking down notes. Researchers tried different types of memory techniques or encoding strategies when learning around 30 individual words. The participants were instructed to either encode the word by writing it out repetitively or by drawing it, with trial types intermixed. 

The results were outstanding, as it showed that participants who use drawing to encode words have better retention than those who used writing to encode the new information.  

Why is drawing an effective memory tool? Researchers explained that it is because drawing “improves memory by promoting the integration of elaborative, pictorial, and motor codes, facilitating the creation of a context-rich representation.”  

How do you practice creativity through drawing? 

You do not have to be an artist to benefit from drawing, but if you want to hone your drawing skills, here are some of the best online courses that you should try.

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