There are many different remedies for mental health, from counseling to yoga to petting puppies. However, have you ever considered art? The act of creating has been a therapeutic activity since the beginning of time, but many of us–including artists themselves–may not realize it. There are various reasons a person might choose to paint, play music or draw, but the best result of artistic activity is an enhanced mental state. Drawing is a simple and soothing way to implement art into your everyday life and reap its benefits.

Here are five ways daily art can improve your mental health.

1. Personal Expression

Art gives us a tangible way to express ourselves. Instead of locking feelings and emotions inside, we can allow them to escape through the pencil to the paper. Daily drawing is an easy and feasible way to express your emotions, thoughts and personality. All it requires is a sketchpad and a pencil, and the opportunities are endless. Something as basic as a rainbow, with your unique twist, could be the debut of your own artistic style.

2. Stress Management

It’s always nice to have a reliable de-stress routine to count on when you’ve had a bad day. Whether it was a long shift at the office or a fight with your boss, it’s important to have a healthy way to cope with negativity. Drawing, in a subtle but powerful way, helps us to master our emotions and take control of our lives. By involving us physically and mentally in something other than our problems, drawing puts us back in charge.

3. Enhanced Mindfulness

Drawing requires concentration, but it’s not the laborious tedium of schoolwork or laundry. This time, you have creative control–so concentration becomes a channel for energy and a generator of mental stimulation. With our sketchpads, each daily word is a match waiting to be lit. The flame of expression will grow in brilliance as you kindle it with your focus, and the resulting masterpiece will motivate you for the next day’s adventure. Art is an absorbing activity that requires complete focus, not only improving your drawing skills but enhancing your mindfulness in all areas of life.

4. Visual Vacation

Drawing is the ultimate escape that doesn’t require you to go anywhere. Unlike movies or books, making art requires the full and active participation of your hands, mind, emotions and creativity. Thus, when intentionally drawing, you are fully immersed in the visual world you are creating. Instead of worrying about an upcoming exam or bill, you can lounge on a Brazilian beach or ski down a powdery slope. The more you draw, the better your skills will become–and the more realistically you will be able to depict your imaginative escape.

5. Confidence Booster

Drawing is a fantastic way to improve self-esteem. Although this benefit may seem less obvious than the others, it is powerful and even transformative. When you sketch, you are a creator; you have artistic license and complete control. While the world can cause us to feel self-conscious, drawing gives us the place to express ourselves without criticism. By getting a taste of this freedom, albeit through pencil and paper, you can begin to experience what complete confidence feels like. Ultimately, this mindset will carry over into other areas of your life until you feel that confidence with which you create.

These positive and empowering benefits will come with patience and time. Art, including its benefits, requires commitment. However, there is beauty and delight in the process. Our sketchpads provide daily drawing ideas, giving you a simple and easy way to make daily art your favorite routine. One month from now, you could be confident, in control and carefree.