With everything going on these days it’s not surprising if you constantly feel overwhelmed with an array of different feelings. To help you navigate stressful, confusing times maybe try art meditation. Creative self-care is good for you because it can get you out of your head and into the present moment, helping to ground you and forget everything else for a few minutes. And here’s some more good news: Anyone can do art meditation—even if you think you aren’t creative, or if traditional meditation isn’t your thing. And if you are an artistic person, meditation art can help you break through creative blocks. It doesn’t matter if you already make art or haven’t picked up a crayon since you were a kid, we all have a little spark of creativity inside each of us, and sometimes we just need a little push in that direction.
You may be wondering how you can combine these two practices. After all, isn’t the whole point of meditation to not do anything? Well, sort of. The art of meditation requires you to slow down, be present, and resist judging the thoughts that enter your brain.
To practice art meditation you focus on the process, paying attention to every mark you mark, how your writing tool feels when it glides across the paper, how your hand has to adjust to drawing curves versus how it’s positioned for straight lines, and so forth. Meditation art requires you to get into the zone, to be so absorbed in what you’re doing that everything else around you fades away.
In addition, it’s very important to note that you can practice art meditation without a final vision in mind. You could aimlessly scribble, doodle, or draw a bunch of parallel lines on a page and achieve the same effects, as long as you remain present. Just grab a marker, paintbrush, crayon, pen, pencil—whatever you prefer—and start connecting it to the page in any way.
Drawing mindfully is all about presence, so if you find your mind wandering to thoughts about the past, things you should have said, worries about the futures, to-do list, etc., just gently nudge yourself to the present. Similar to traditional meditation, it may be helpful to remove all external stimuli from your environment, whether that means finding a quiet room in your house or taking advantage of noise-cancelling headphones. As you practice meditation art more and more, you’ll likely be better equipped to sink into a meditative state in all types of environments. But for now, removing as many distractions as possible is your best bet.