Art therapy: why is painting so beneficial for mental health?

Art therapy: why is painting so beneficial for mental health?


Art is a universal means of expression within the reach of all little hands. Much more than a simple creative hobby, art redraws the boundaries of well-being and splashes everyday life with optimistic colours. Therapeutic, it cheerfully erases the darkness of the soul.

Awakening your inner Picasso or Monet by smearing a blank canvas is therefore much more life-saving than it seems. Painting, beyond its creative virtues, preserves the mental health of all the grayness of the world. It is a discipline saturated with benefits. So, to your brushes!

Art therapy, what is it?

Science heals bodies while art heals souls. For several years, art therapy, a branch of psychotherapy , has been infiltrating the walls of retirement homes and hospitals. In Montpellier, patients are even prescribed art workshops and visits to the museum on prescription . A great first. Art therapy uses tangible media to translate negative emotions, deep feelings and unconscious dreams .

It is a gateway, a link to our inner life . The goal is not to shape a Da Vinci masterpiece, but to lay down the wounds of the mind in black and white . Art therapy, already acclaimed in Greek Antiquity, is a disguised stress relief. Traumas from the past and buried issues resurface behind pen, brush, or dance steps. Art therapy transforms the dark colors of the soul into clairvoyant production .

This practice, closer to the intimate, paints a portrait of our personal pain . It embellishes what heckles us like a stencil. Art therapy does not erase our anxieties like an eraser, it underlines them with more freshness. It is even recognized by the HAS (Haute Autorité de Santé) as a therapeutic approach aimed at improving “the complete state of physical, mental and social well-being , resulting spirit” .

What are the benefits of painting?

White sheets, canvases or cardboard papers can be talkative, especially when feelings are struggling to come out out loud. Painting plays the matchmaker. It is she who draws from the shadows what weighs us down secretly.

This cure based on gouache and beveled brushes allows a real work of introspection , far from external parasites. It gives an opportunity to accomplish oneself differently , with a creative hand. Painting gives a colorful respite from sanity .. But not only.

1 – Increase self-esteem

Concocting a canvas or a drawing in your image by simply following your instinct and your inner voice is extremely rewarding . Obviously, it is not a question of joining the Louvre Museum, nor of plagiarizing an already existing work, but of composing a unique painting with its own touch . In painting, there is no going back and even less of a “reset” option, so you have to trust yourself .

Whether it’s abstract, elusive art, or a Monet-like landscape, the final rendering is usually a source of great satisfaction . It is an accomplishment . This white canvas is dressed in a colored soul by the sheer force of our imagination. Even alone in front of his easel, the ego outbids , in part because there is no possible comparison. Our creation belongs to us. Practiced solo, in a non-competitive spirit, painting boosts self-esteem and allows you to detach yourself from the judgment of others.

2 – Release the emotions

Painting is a royal access route to our deep feelings , those that we repress in public in favor of political correctness. The canvas becomes the welcoming ground for these inner ghosts that silently haunt us. Many eminent painters have also taken refuge in this art dictated by the brush to let go of their “buried” demons .

This was the case of Munch in his icy painting “The Scream” which symbolizes the traumas of his childhood. Researchers call this the “Alpha state” . We make a design consciously, but basically an unconscious area of ​​the brain lends itself to the task. Painting is therefore a kind of “entertaining” purgatory where all our emotions, even the most perverse, find an echo. This practice blotters our anxieties, our painful memories and our unspeakable traumas . Painting pampers our mental health since it frees us from a weight, sometimes heavy.

3 – Improve emotional intelligence

Putting on the brush and letting yourself be transcended by the chance of movement also promotes maturity of mind . Painting teaches us to better understand our emotions and thus to better tame them. This visual art revises our emotions on the rise. It absorbs the “bad” to bring out the “good” .

Clearly, the painting is a sounding board for pleasant emotions such as happiness, fulfillment and appeasement. Emotions already present in us, but very often stifled under the unconscious negative. The paint seals a powerful connection between the heart and the mind , restoring color to our sanity.

4 – Develop positive thoughts

By sweeping negative thoughts and “bobos” from the soul, painting gives us a chance to see life on the bright side , with the eye of relativism. It is a window to inner peace. Spreading gouache on a blank canvas or using your pencil on an immaculate sheet is almost solemn.

Painting reveals the best in us . It leaves undeniably optimistic traces in its path. It provokes a more intense fury to live. Painting is a “lucky” activity that protects our mental health with dignity.

5 – Fight stress

Stress is the bane of our society. Almost no one escapes it. But paint is worth more than a box of anxiolytics . Combined with chromotherapy , or color therapy, painting soothes the body and mind . It suspends the present time with the flip of a brush and isolates

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