Hobbies that help you calm down: Painting and drawing

Ted Geisel NYWTS

By Al Ravenna, World Telegram staff photographer [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

I was never one of those kids who was born with a pencil or learnt to draw before they learned to talk; I just used to make a lot of noise, watch cartoons, run around the house and generally make life miserable for my parents. I’m a lot better now though (I think); anyway moving on.

As you may have guessed from the title, in this post I am going to be talking about painting and drawing and how that can help you when you’re stressed. I mention in the beginning how I wasn’t artsy as a kid, even now I’m very bad at drawing, which sucks because for a long time I wanted to be a 2D animator, I had the passion and everything. If I had worked harder I probably could have gone on to do that but somewhere along the way I realised this wasn’t for me. The reason why I bring this up is because what I am trying to say in my roundabout way is that you don’t have to be a master at drawing or painting to do this, you don’t even have to be that good. For us, the whole point of this hobby is to calm down and de-stress, not to make a masterpiece.

As I already mentioned in my post about adult colouring books colouring is very therapeutic. Well, so is drawing and painting; after all colouring books have been derived from these things.

Mandala Coloring Pages for Adults - Printable Coloring Book

By Peaksel (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Drawing and painting are all about expressing yourself and letting out your emotions on the canvas or paper or computer screen or wall or where ever you want to do your work. It can help you let out your frustrations. Also, it is a good and creative way to keep yourself busy. When you are drawing or painting you tend to focus on that and everything else kind of goes out of focus for a little while; it’s just you, the subject (the thing you are painting or drawing) and the thing you are painting on. It’s a good way to forget about everything else (I feel like I’ve said that a lot lately). There’s also a sense of satisfaction you get when you put what were thinking about out there in the real world.

Even though I am bad at drawing I do like to draw sometimes. Usually when I draw, its cartoony characters, maybe sometimes a hero character; I usually take a long time to draw them out (30 mins to 1 hour) and they usually don’t come out like how they look in my head, but when I’m done and I look at my creation I think, “Yes, I made this. I thought of it and now it exists out here in the world, even though it will never get to see the world since it always be in my notebook which I will probably put  away in my cupboard until I want to use it again and who knows when that will be.”

The point is I would always get a sense of satisfaction after I finished drawing something that I had been working hard on, and if it came out good, even better. Even if it didn’t come out good its okay, I still feel good.

For those of you who don’t believe me, I present to you evidence that supports what I have said.

First we have, “Draw Your Stress Out With a pencil & brush,” written by Anna Willieme from alive.com.

Next we have, “Art Therapy: Relieve Stress by Being Creative Do-It-Yourself Art Therapy,” written by Elizabeth Scott, MS, from verywell.com.

They both talk about what I talked about; doing art can help you with stress.

Now I know that there are exceptions to every rule and that there are a lot of people who don’t feel good after finishing a drawing because they feel like it came out pretty bad. To them I say this, don’t take yourself so seriously, if you’re just starting out then this is definitely going to happen, you’ll get better with practice. And if you’ve been doing this for a while and your latest drawing/painting came out bad, well go back and look at some of your work that came out good, just because this one came out bad doesn’t mean they all will. Just relax; the next one will be better.

You should also keep in mind the reason why you are doing this. If drawing or painting is your job or a serious hobby of yours then remember everyone has good and bad days. And if you’re doing this to relax, then focus more on the relaxing not the work.

Well that’s it for this post. I do hope you like it and the next time you feel stressed out, try doodling a little something on the corner of a piece of paper, see if it makes you feel better.

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