Stress has become a worldwide epidemic that has gotten worse over the past few years. According to the results of the American Psychological Association’s 2010 Stress in America survey, over 44 percent of Americans were dealing with chronic stress, which in turn, affects the quality of their lives and day-to-day activities. Most of the participants in the survey also report that their “stress levels” have steadily increased over the past five years.

No matter your age, it is important to decompress once in a while. One way to do so is by taking up a new hobby. If strenuous activities are off the table, then consider doing something light, such as art.

Here are some reasons why you should pick up your collection of watercolor pencils and start an art hobby:

Art reduces stress.

Like any outlet, art allows you to take your mind off things. Citing a study from the University of Westminster, Mic reported that people who visited a museum for 35 minutes during their lunch break had significantly lowered their stress levels. That’s just from a gallery visit alone. Imagine what can happen to you if you get to do art after the end of a workday or every weekend.

Art allows you to become more critical and resourceful.

Learning a new artistic skill flexes your thinking muscles. Art will open paths for you that you never knew existed by enhancing your critical skills. Given that art inspires you to look at things from different perspectives, it leads you to think outside the box. According to an article on the Ashford University website, art does this by stimulating your brain every time you look at or create art. Your brain loves to make meaning out of things, especially when it comes to establishing links between patterns and shapes.

woman creating a painting

Art inspires others around you to let in a little art in their lives.

If you have kids of your own, you can teach your kids how to play with paint, watercolors, and all sorts of art materials. Engaging in artistic hobbies, such as watercolor painting, arms you with the actual knowledge to teach your kid how to paint properly. On top of that, it gives you the opportunity to bond with your child and create new memories.

If you don’t have a kid yet, then perhaps you could inspire a friend, spouse, or your partner to start their creative journey. You’d be surprised at how fun it is to get together with other people and work on your art together.

With the availability of e-commerce products nowadays, obtaining your art supplies shouldn’t be a hassle anymore. If you can’t find time to leave the house, consider buying your materials online. After all, there’s no dearth of websites that can sell anything from watercolor pencils to crafting materials.

As life coach Mel Robbins says, you’re making room for self-doubt the longer you wait on making a decision. So, what are you waiting for? Get started on your art journey today, and discover the many great things art can do for your life.