De-stressing through Painting

This article is by Mr.Pradeep Maheshwari, who is from Sri Aurobindo Ashram at Pondicherry, India. He is a Psycho-spiritual Counselor and Teacher of Languages as well as an artist. The beautiful image is of an oil painting by him.His Facebook link is

Depression is fast becoming an important topic of conversation along with its family of anxiety pangs and panic attacks. Open any journal or magazine and there is something related to it in its pages. Are this all hype and a case of media having nothing better to do or true to today’s life style? I do know one thing that we do carry a heavy load of trying to live more than the allotted hours and thereby living mostly in the future worrying about the past and totally hassled in the present.

How things will turn out at any given time is a big question mark and anxiety attacks are common. When hopes do not go to fruition as expected, there is depression in its wake.

Life styles and life as it is; it cannot be wholly blamed. We are responsible for what we take on. When the mind gets too focused on one goal to the exclusion of all else, there is a tightening which results in knots in the mind that become habits in the long run. This creates a pattern of thinking and action that is self-defeating with the individual not even aware of it.

This is better understood as an attitude problem but this unfortunately is not the end of the story. We are also carrying so much memory baggage that it keeps us tied back like an elephant chained to a ring in the floor. Do you ever remember those moments where you kept quiet when you should have given a befitting repartee and now, today, whenever the incident comes back to mind you can think of thousands of things you could have said? The thought will never leave you in peace until you can go forward by forgetting it or get over the need to make repartees at all. Similarly there would be other incidents clogging your minds pathways such as when you made an utter fool of yourself and today you squirm when you are reminded of it. All these past memories create a lot of logjam.

We block our own development and evolution by sticking to certain memories and ideas. There are many actions and reactions that result from certain memories. Like an abusive parent who was never there to help but always there to punish. These subconscious thoughts trigger sadness and depression causing images and can color every aspect of our lives. We need to break away from them. Let the past recede far enough so that new impressions can make a home in our personalities.

We cannot always change our patterns but by changing some of our activities we can create new paths in our brain’s way of handling things. Try sometimes the concept of De-stressing through Painting in Oil. This is a wonderful medium to take your mind off on a tangent. By using forms and colors, a door is opened to new vistas. Even depression can be reigned in. Therapists force the clients to paint pictures of happy things or scenes such as flowers and landscapes with a lot of yellow and green in them. This is in contrast to gloomy moods where most people tend towards black or very dark, heavy colors and forms. Not only primary colors. Let’s not limit ourselves and take a rigid stance. The colors that are vibrant are yellows and every shade of every color in which it is to be found. White too. It is simply impossible to be unhappy with these colors in your lives. Left to themselves, most humans would go on playing with their own morbid thoughts. So they have to be weaned away. The ego of a person will resist. So the job has to be done gently. Landscapes with pleasant forms and all elemental natural ingredients in it will do the trick.

When you are in a particular mood, you tend to veer towards certain colors and forms; insisting gently that the mind play only with certain forms and colors which trigger happy images can induce changes in moods and mental vibrations with positive results. This has an immediate and strong effect on the personae.
Oil painting is the perfect medium as it permits overwriting. It is the perfect medium to play with.
This permits focusing on problems and finding practical solutions in a relaxed and receptive state of mind. For, after all, all our problems begin and end in the mind.

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