Visual art is another tool used to practice mindfulness. Again, being mindful is being consciously aware of your thoughts without judgement. Engaging in visual art activates different parts of your brain and allows us to create a cognitive shift into a holistic state of mind called flow. A flow state, also known as being in ‘the zone,’ is the mental state where a person performing an activity of some sort reaches a feeling of full focus and immersion in an activity. The state of flow is highly correlated with happiness, high self esteem and high concentration levels. Art creates the space for a state of engagement that improves mental well being and creativity through flow. Achieving flow takes time and dedication. Reaching the flow state requires you to eliminate all internal and external distractions and working at your BPT. BPT is your Biological Peak Time, it is the time when your mind is at its most sharp and energised, usually in the mornings or straight after a break. Another little tip for flow is to choose the right music to listen to when you are working. Music helps you become highly productive especially when listening to the same songs on repeat or repetitive music like techno or classical music, it also helps keep internal distractions to a minimum. Making mistakes is also a way to engage in flow, giving yourself space not to be perfect is a kinder and less restricted approach to creative exploration. Lastly, limit language when you are creating visual art, talking or listening to music with lyrics is a sure way of preventing yourself from engaging in flow. The flow state is one of the most productive states one can be in, it is an essential part of practicing mindfulness through art. Creating and/or making visual art encourages us to be in our present moment experiences and taps into a deeper part of ourselves. It is a type of creative mindfulness, through creating colours, shapes and images bringing one back into the present moment. Art is a meditative practice giving us the opportunity to experience freedom and flow.

– Jess

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