I’ve been noticing lately that Neurographic Art, one of my new favorite activities, has contributed to my whole-person well-being on many levels. Last year, a colleague mentioned that her school had hosted a workshop on Neurographic Art. Never having heard of it before, I spent a little time researching online.
Formulated in 2014 by psychologist Pavel Piskarev, Neurographic Art is created by making lines on a page, smoothing the intersections where lines meet, and filling the resulting spaces with color. This process is described as a meditation, allowing people to transform stress and gain perspective on current challenges. After just a little research, I quickly turned to the page, gaining a love for the process that has only grown over time.
As I think about the SPIRE model, I can see the multifaceted ways in which Neurographic Art supports my well-being.
The meditative aspects of Neurographic Art support my Spiritual well-being, allowing my thoughts to settle into the background, inviting present-moment awareness to lead. Creating taps into something larger than my individual Self, allowing me to connect with a universal creative energy.
My Physical well-being is supported as I engage in Neurographic Art-making. Drawing in this way leaves me feeling more settled and relaxed. Research shows that coloring can reduce stress, lower blood pressure and heart rate, and create shifts in brain-wave activity.
On an Intellectual level, Neurographic Art connects to my curiosity about the relationship between creating and well-being. While I’ve researched this topic a bit, I’m choosing to mainly keep mystery alive in this realm and just enjoy without having to understand. (Sometimes my well-being is best served by allowing the intellectual aspect to fade into the background.)
One of my loveliest discoveries has been how Neurographic Art has enhanced my Relational well-being. I love sharing this process with others, and find that people who consider themselves “not creative” enjoy drawing in this way and like what they have made in the end. I have created and shared a Neurographic Coloring Book, which has inspired others to share their creations with me—strengthening the connections between us and inspiring me to riff off their ideas.
Lastly, my Emotional well-being is supported as I engage in Neurogrpahic Art. In some ways, it feels like the sum of what I have described above—the spiritual engagement, the physical relaxation, the intellectual exploration, the enhanced connection with others. Creating something I enjoy—that I can share with others, that can stand on its own, or that can take me deeper—increases my experience of positive emotions.
Join Michelle on Tuesday, May 17, at 12:00 pm ET for a playful experience of Neurographic Art, as part of the WBI/JCC Positive Psychology Hour series. All you need is a felt-tipped pen, something to write on, and a willingness to try something new. Register here.
Michelle Brode, a graduate of WBI’s Certificate in Wholebeing Positive Psychology, is a social worker, certified parent coach, facilitator, collaborator, mom, and artist. She is passionate about strengthening the well-being of youth by supporting and guiding the adults around them. In addition to parent coaching, Michelle consults with schools and youth-serving organizations, and is a National Trainer for the Teen Mental Health First Aid program. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Michigan and a Master’s from Case Western Reserve University’s Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences. Michelle is also the creator of Spacious: A Neurographic Coloring Book. Find out more at MichelleBrode.com.