Speaking of easy-to-perform activities that can have a positive effect on anxious and obsessive states, I would like to point out that of drawing. A theoretical and didactic book, “ Drawing with the right side of the brain ”, starts from the assumption that the drawing technique is accessible to everyone, which obviously does not mean that everyone develops it in the same way.
In fact, the proposed exercises are not exercises that stimulate the imagination, creativity or aim to create little artists. The idea is different, the spirit of the book is to teach anyone to pass from a total inability (often only theoretical, because perhaps one has never tried to learn), to a relative ability.
The purpose of the book is not to get to “draw well” as the first result, but to not be afraid to draw, not to be afraid of not knowing how to do it, and to rely on some techniques and exercise to overcome that step of self-esteem, of fear, of perplexity that often makes us self-exclude from a series of activities and tests.
This perspective is even more interesting when we examine some proposed exercises, which closely resemble, indeed are superimposable, to some behavioral therapy techniques used for the management, above all, of obsessive anxious states, that is, pathological worries to be clear, phobias. , states of anguished expectation etc.
An anxious subject, faced with a drawing, would pose the problem of “how can one draw such a complex thing”
And he will probably think about how it is possible to have the drawing in mind in such a perfect and detailed way that he will be able to reproduce it keeping in mind the image of the result to be obtained. Let’s put both a human face. When you try to draw it “straight away”, the person will try to focus on the mental image he has, perfect, detailed, realistic, and instead he will immediately see that the first lines are broken down, the dimensions do not return, and he will gradually try to ” be satisfied ”with the result and then crumple up the paper and give up.
Exercises that stimulate the “right lobe”, on the other hand, work differently. They work because they are able to “distract” the part of the brain that works on complex contents, and instead focus attention on simpler elements (points, lines, areas, intersections, which in themselves do not identify any interesting figure, but put together produce the result).
Some autistic children, who due to their condition are unable to “recognize” a face as an expressive face, and therefore are not inclined to communication, are nevertheless very good at reproducing a series of details in a precise and effective, photographic way. On the contrary, anxious subjects, even if intelligent and very capable, often lose the ability to reproduce a complex image, and the more they are concerned about doing it, the less they are able to control the fundamental elements (lines, proportions, dimensions).
For example, psychiatrists know that obsessive subjects go haywire about their obsessions when they are not “distracted” by some activity, so they can be concentrated on work and prey to endless obsessions during their free time. When you are faced with a new activity, you cannot be distracted, because you still do not know where you are headed, and therefore you try in vain to be in control by imagining the final result: failing to do so, those who are anxious will he becomes agitated, or nervous, or demoralized if he sees that he fails at the first attempt, because he perceives that he is not in control, that he is not in control of the final result.
Instead, how to “deceive” the obsessive brain and leave the simpler and more direct “mirror” brain free to function
For example, with the exercises of inverted drawing, of the “picture”, of blind drawing, of drawing by subtraction or of drawing from life.
A premise: some speak or suggest that it is the usual contrast between the rational and instinctive brain, but since this contrast leaves its time, I prefer to indicate the two activities as ” complex ” (based on the knowledge of the overall result of a series of elements ) and ” mirror ” (based on knowledge of the individual elements that make up the whole).

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