Do you remember the simple joy of coloring as a kid? There was nothing particularly special about it, in retrospect, yet at the time, it seemed like one of the best things in the world. It was just fun, which is something that many people lose as they get older. To really have fun, you have to be able to think of the world without analyzing it, or at least think of ourselves without picking apart every thing someone could find fault with.
The word "art" can have some scary connotations, which is why some people hesitate to use it to describe what they do. "Art," we think, is reserved for the masters, people who perform in such a way that others would be impressed. Yet, the truth is that art is whatever we make it. It is not reserved for the lofty or elite. And in fact, if we could embrace the fact that we, too, can express and heal ourselves with it, our lives would be better for it.
So here are a few reasons why you should make more art, paint more pictures, write more songs, color more, design more, decorate your space, decorate your body, and make your life feel more like your own. It doesn't have to be perfect, but it does have to be "you."
It Has Proven Therapeutic Qualities
Research shows that art therapy does, in fact, have positive effects on cognitive behavior. Though it's an upcoming topic of study, it makes sense logically: releasing your inner creativity makes you feel like you "can do anything."
It Helps You Learn Not To Do Things Just When They Look Good
We're ingrained to only dress, speak, and make choices based on how other people will perceive them. Making art – even if it's not aesthetically perfect — is a great way to teach yourself to overcome that.
It Gets The Creative Part Of Your Brain Moving, Which Could Help With Solving Problems In Your Real Life
The part of your brain that controls creativity is the same part of the brain that controls rumination, which is reflection on the negative aspects of life. The brilliance in this is that when you reflect on what you want to change about your life, you also reflect on how you can change it.
It Helps You Express Feelings You May Not Realize Need Be Expressed
You may not realize that you're especially angry about something until you find yourself etching dark, spiraling tornado shapes into the side of your paper...
It Helps You Document Your Life In A Way Other Than Writing (Or Photos)
Imagine a journal that just consists of papers stapled together, each of which you drew out what you did and how you felt each day. How cool would that be to flip through? (I've never done this, but somebody should!)
It Makes Amazingly Heartfelt Gifts
When you get to a certain point in adulthood, gifts become a courtesy, not a necessity. That is: you give because you're supposed to, not always because you want to or someone needs something. That said: making something for someone rather than just going out and buying it, can make a holiday or birthday a lot more special.
It Reconnects You With Your Childhood Self
Remember how much you loved to color with crayons and paint with your fingers? Let yourself love that again. It will do you good.
It's A Way To Meditate
Now that there are coloring books designed for grownups and for calming yourself down, there's really no excuse not to use it as a means to find your inner zen.
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