I have no idea if painting eases your anxiety, because I have no experience in painting. But I can recommend taking up photography as a hobby. It’s such an effective anxiety killer, some people simply cannot live without it.
Think about what you’re doing when you’re photographing for the fun/art/experience of it.
- You’re studying light.
- You’re studying the environment.
- You’re studying expressions.
- You’re focused. You’re focusing.
- You’re composing and approaching the present moment from multiple angles and techniques.
- You may be envisioning a scene in black and white, infrared, and a dozen different color palettes.
- You could be in a new place, or surrounded by new people.
- You could be in a breathtakingly beautiful place you’d never visit if not for photography.
- You’re placing creation over consumption.
The point is you’re present and focused in way you can’t be in normal life. Photography strips away the distraction-laden veneer of the modern world if you let it.