How to get the benefits of meditation without meditating – by creating art and crafts

Research tells us now that meditation has many benefits, helping us to maintain our wellbeing.  Now don’t get me wrong, I personally love to meditate daily, however, not everyone does. There are many reason why meditation is not liked by everyone.  Some don’t feel comfortable being alone with their own thoughts, others just don’t like sitting “doing nothing” for long, not forgetting not everyone feels they have the imagination to visualise.  There are many many more reasons, too many to mention.  If any of these resonate with you, then please read on…….. a video especially for you, will also be available at the end of the article.

Adult colouring books became very popular because we were told that research said this activity helps our brain find that meditative state that is beneficial to our wellbeing.

What are the benefits of reaching the meditative state of mind?

  • Reduces Stress/anxiety – which results in lower blood pressure and improvement of gut function – Better gut function means a better immune system and an increase in seritonin levels (feel good hormone)
  • Increases creativity
  • Increases cognitive skills including memory retention, if physically improves the brain tissue
  • Improves breathing and heart rate – two key factors in stress/anxiety reduction.  Breathing shallow and irregular for lengthy periods can increase risk of stress/anxiety.

These are just a small fraction of the benefits.  You don’t even need to take my word for it.  I came across this very in depth article by Gionvanni Dienstmann,  who collated the scientific research available and wrote a very good article on the subject of the scientific benefits behind meditation.  Do these benefits appeal to you? These are the reasons I meditate on a daily basis.

So now we have taken a look at the benefits of what a meditative state of mind can do for us lets talk about the benefits of creativity.

what happens to our brain when we create

  • Engaging our brain with creativity encourages new neurons to be grown
  • It also stimulates communication across our full brain.
  • We cannot think two thoughts at the same time (we can flit from one thought to another giving the feeling of having many thoughts together) the act of concentrating on one task will reduce this overwhelm thought pattern.
  • Engaging in creating stimulates mindfulness, being present in the here and now.
  • Concentrating on creating which is a safe activity, reduces anxiety/panic by reducing activity in the amygdala (the part of our brain responsible for our fight or flight response)
  • Improves cognitive function

Sound familiar? These are all benefits mentioned in some way or form with meditation.  My understanding of the way our body functions, is that, most of our functions are, on a basic level for the purpose of this explanation, automatic such as our heart rate and our breathing.  In other words we do not have to concentrate or think about making our heart beat or breath in and out. In other words our heart and breathing do not stop when we do not think about them, these are considered involuntary funtions.  What we can do, however, is have an impact on how these systems function.  These impacts can be either negative or positive.  For example, have you ever noticed that if you deliberately breath in and out in short fast breaths you can begin to feel dizzy? this is you having an impact on your breathing, kicking in your fight or flight response.  When our mood is not great this can impact our posture, this in turn impacts how we breath and so kicks in our fight or flight response.  Sound familiar? Remember one of the benefits of creating was to reduce the fight of flight response system, so creating is an activity that has the potential to return our autonomic (involuntary) systems to a more normal balanced function.

Again do not take my word for it.  There are plenty of articles available on the benefits of creating.  Here is just one of them showing the benefits of colouring

Have I sold you on the benefits of meditative benefits of creating yet? If I have you are in for a treat.  I have been working on developing an art mediation series on video.  This series will have the benefits of meditation and reaching that meditative state in your mind by either watching the video or following along and creating with the video.

Each week, on a Monday I will demonstrate a simple art/creative technique with some soothing music and gentle commentary in the background.  This will help to induce a meditative state whether you just watch the video or join in.   If you are interested in this series and do not want to miss out go to www.youtube.com/tartantazcreates and subscribe to my channel.  Click the bell to receive notifications of all my future videos including Meditation Monday videos.