Looking for your next binge-watch show?
How about something that will help you chill-out while learning a new hobby?
Then skip the zombies, dragons and politics and chill-out with mellow painter Bob Ross on Netflix!
Ross is best known for hosting “The Joy of Painting” on PBS from 1983 to 1984. His softly cheerful demeanor and bits of life wisdom made the bushy-haired painter a sort of Mr. Rogers for adults. While the show was nominally a how-to program, Ross, who died in 1995, was the true attraction. His name still brings smiles and sighs to most anyone over 30.
Netflix is actually streaming Ross’ lesser-known painting show, “Beauty is Everywhere.” You can watch “The Joy of Painting” on YouTube or Hulu. Or – and I suspect Bob would support this – you could relax by actually painting.
Painting is proven to have many benefits, including stress relief. While painting you can enter a state called “flow,” in which you are completely engaged in the task at hand. This focuses your mind, pushes out troubling thoughts and leaves you less stressed. Yes, as a matter of fact, flow is very much like meditation and has many of the same upsides.
Many people also find painting a good way to work through their feelings. They often don’t set out with a goal of creating a specific picture. Rather they just capture what comes to them as they stand before the canvas.
If painting doesn’t appeal to you look for some other way to express yourself. Drawing, sculpting, writing, gardening, music – they all offer the same mental lift as painting. Even those new adult coloring books can also get you in a state of flow and reduce stress.
There is mounting scientific evidence that all hobbies are good for us, especially as we age. Mastering new skills keeps our minds nimble. In researching my book, You Can Retire Sooner Than You Think, I discovered that the happiest retirees have several hobbies, both new and long established.
So set up that easel, pour your paint and learn to paint with Bob Ross.
Maybe start with a happy little tree right over here…