When you look at pictures of cave art you have to admire the natural human inclination to express through art. Artistic techniques have evolved, and humans have found that painting allows for far more than story-telling. It does not matter if you are a trained artist or a novice, this introspective practice offers a bevy of benefits, including improving both mental and physical well-being. So whether you’re following a passion, a long-held curiosity or need more balance in your life, painting is a creative activity that goes well beyond self-expression.

What are the health benefits of painting?

Painting has a meditative quality that is therapeutic, and especially beneficial to the brain. Once you’re engaged with the practice, you’ll find you’re having fun. Your body will relax, breathing will become more steady, and that will work wonders on decreasing your stress levels. Painting will help you ease any anxiety you may have been carrying, while increasing a sense of well-being in your body.

There are many scientific studies that indicate painting stimulates the brain, enhancing creativity, memory, communication skills and critical thinking development. As you pour yourself into the practice, you’ll find that emotions arise. This release makes painting an excellent resource for those wanting to heal emotional upset or traumas. It’s a well-proven technique for effective healing.

Are there spiritual benefits to painting?

Painting is an excellent way to glimpse what’s on your mind, in your heart and aching to get your attention. Thanks to the deep level of concentration that painting requires, you may find that it allows you to enter altered states of consciousness. When in these states, people can transcend their physical troubles like tiredness or pain, and enter an altered consciousness similar to prayer or meditation. Within these inner landscapes, you can access knowledge and wisdom. Using paint as a way to access your inner psyche is a global practice utilized in monasteries, schools, workshops and homes. It is available to us all, and it is incredibly easy to get started.

Painting practice

Be sure to have a smaller canvas (under 8 1/2 X 11), at least five colors of acrylic paint, and a few paintbrushes. Quality isn’t as important as the process, so don’t let supplies get in your way. Before you begin painting, close your eyes and get in touch with what you most want to achieve from your art time. Is there a question you want to ask your heart? Or perhaps you have something in your life you want to magnetize. If nothing comes to mind, begin with a symbol.

Choose two or three colors of paint, wet your brush and paint a backdrop. Next, let yourself be guided from within. Acrylic is incredibly forgiving, so don’t worry about making mistakes. You can easily cover things and begin again. This isn’t the time for your critic to come out anyway. It is a time to know that you cannot make a mistake. It’s all just information. Let yourself communicate with your inner wise wild being, ready to be heard.