I've always loved art, visiting galleries, studied it at uni, dabbled on my own over the years and my house is adorned with various projects – some finished, others not. Recently I've rekindled my passion as a tool for mindfulness. There's something about hand painting 340 small circles that empties your mind of racing thoughts, refocuses your attention and before you know it, its 4am.
Mindfulness is the ability to be fully present in the moment and consciously notice things happening at that exact time. It reduces stress, increases wellbeing and anyone can improve with practice.
It can be hard to let go of work, thinking about the day, planning for tomorrow and worrying about stuff that hasn’t happened, so to de-stress (and avoid another screen and endless scrolling through the Netflix catalogue) I've tried painting. At first it was a whim – I had the equipment, paints and canvas at home and started painting, inspired by an artist I follow on Instagram, @dimitrilikissas.
For this spotty piece I used a ruler and protractor (I knew I kept mine for 25+ years for something), then filled the canvas with paint. Within minutes I was laser focused painting within the circles and kept going. After each circle convincing myself to do one more.
It was calming, rewarding, fun and most of all, I let go of my stress because my only job was to stay inside the circles, which required undivided concentration. I have three more artworks on the go and recommend anyone who wants to practice mindfulness to try art as a tool to calm your mind.
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