5 Types of Meditative Art for Anxiety

5 Types of Meditative Art for Anxiety

Before I list my favorite types of meditative art, we really should have a mutual understanding of what it is.

My working definition is this: meditative art is anything creative that brings you into the present moment and keeps you from focusing on past trauma or future worries. (The stuff that makes us anxious.)

For this post I will be discussing visual art.

divine dove Zentangle with colored pencil on kraft notebook paper

What are the benefits of meditative art? Well, I’m glad you asked. In addition to reducing stress and anxiety, meditative art can bring clarity and help you examine your emotions, express yourself, and find a sense of freedom and empowerment. However, anxiety is something I know really well.

Zentangle Art

As a Certified Zentangle Teacher (CZT) it should come as no surprise that the Zentangle Method is my favorite form of meditative art. It involves drawing repetitive patterns on small tiles. The folks at Zentangle Inc. have a great YouTube channel if you’d like to give it a try. They are currently doing a 21-day series focused on mental health. You can also learn more about ‘tangling in my guide for beginners.

Neurographic Art

Neurographic art is another meditative art form that can reduce anxiety. In many ways it is similar to Zentangle, but there aren’t patterns to learn, just rounded intuition-guided lines and shapes. Creating neurographic art emphasizes intuition, actually. For a great introduction and turorial, I recommend this video by Jules White.

Mandala Art

In ancient Sanskrit, mandala means “circle.” In art, a mandala is a geometric design or radial pattern that grows symmetrically from the center. The Zentangle Zendala is loosely based on the Mandala, though Zendalas may or may not be symmetrical like a Mandala. The repetition is what makes it meditative. To try your hand at making Mandala art, explore Mandala Drawing for Beginners from Tombow.

Abstract Art

Not all abstract art is meditative, but it has the potential to be because it doesn’t attempt to represent reality. The goal with abstract art is to reach people through forms, shape, color, and texture. But if you’re thinking about what you want to create, you might be missing out on the meditative qualities of making art. Like with neurographic techniques, relying on your intuition will serve you well. Try this video tutorial from Deco Art.

Adult Coloring

Before I became a CZT, I colored. Then, after my dad died, I found it was easier to get to sleep if I watched ZucchiniKitty’s coloring tutorials. From filling abstract shapes with marker to coloring intricate lineart with professional pencils, there’s something truly enjoyable, meditative, and liberating about leaving the drawing to someone else and focusing on the art of color. Beauty and the Beast is one of my favorite ZucchiniKitty tutorials.

Media Swatching

The first thing I want to do when I get new supplies is swatch them. Professional artists swatch everything for obvious reasons, but the act of swatching is itself meditative, and—to me at least—it’s one of the most satisfying forms of art I can think of. You don’t need a tutorial for this one. Just take the art supplies you already have lying around and have at it!

Meditative art can benefit everyone. I hope you’ll explore and find something that brings you joy, sparks your creativity, and gives you peace in this present moment.

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