Throughout the world, art therapy techniques are gaining momentum in treating myriad mental health problems. Whether it’s to treat serious illnesses like depression and anxiety or tackle the puzzles of everyday life, the soul-healing benefits of art therapies are multifold. From increasing creativity, boosting mindfulness to fostering self-awareness, art therapy for stress can help you improve and enrich your life in many ways.
How To Relieve Stress with Art Therapy
Sometimes, while going through a painful situation, verbalizing your feelings and emotions requires a large amount of mental energy. It’s often difficult and draining. Here’s where art activities for stress come into play. It offers you a channel to process and express your emotions in a more relaxing and easy manner. By giving shapes and colours to your thoughts and feelings, you can put yourself in a better position to overcome your emotional roadblocks.
Although licensed therapists can guide you through your emotions better, you can also practice this abstract form of communication by yourself. Here’s a list of some simple and doable art therapy techniques for de-stressing.
Journaling is not just limited to documenting your day’s activities or your daily thoughts. It can also be a great way of dispensing your artistic energy. Carve out a specific time in your day to sit with your thoughts and let your imagination soar. Not only can you create a fun and relaxing routine, but you may also be able to understand your hidden emotions through the patterns created on the paper.
It doesn’t matter if you’re not a pro artist. Just the act of etching strokes and lines on a paper can be cathartic. Whether it’s by drawing simple circles or filling up the pages with complex and intricate patterns, you can give shape to your emotions using just a pencil or a pen. Just let your mind free and see where it takes you.
Painting is hands down the most popular form of art therapy for stress management. The best thing about it is, you don’t have to be an artist to bring your art to life. Your art doesn’t have to be realistic or perfect and you also don’t need any high-end paper or a dedicated canvas to indulge in some quiet de-stressing activity. So, rid yourself of all the expectations and fill up your medium with splashes and blotches of colour. Additionally, you could also dip your hands into those colour pots and slap the prints onto a paper. That energy release might be the perfect healing that you were waiting for.
Therapeutic and symbolic, mandala drawing is often used in most art therapy as it’s proven to be a great stress buster. One of the best techniques to treat stress and anxiety, it gives your mind a much-needed rest from those constant repetitive thoughts by shifting your focus to a more comforting activity.
If creating mandalas seems like a lot of work, you could opt for an easier option, colouring them. There are dedicated mandala colouring books in the market today that you can fill up with colours of your choice. Besides this, there are also other adult colouring books with pre-printed designs and patterns.
Have you ever found yourself aimlessly scribbling designs while on a boring phone call or waiting for an appointment you weren’t particularly looking forward to? Unknowingly, you’ve been engaging yourself in a simple form of art therapy called doodling. Hence the next time your emotions threaten to get the better of you, take out your notepad and doodle away your stress. It could be random patterns like stars and swirls or symbols that strike a chord with you, like your favourite flower or bird.
Make Collages or Scrapbooks
Remember those summer afternoons spent filling up numerous scrapbooks with all kinds of cuttings and photos? There’s a reason why it used to be such a joyous activity. Not only does it offer a creative outlet to enjoy the present moment, but it can also turn out to be a beautiful bundle of memory for your future. You could create a specific theme-related collage or fill the pages with random photos and stickers that make you happy.
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Research has proven that art therapy can help soothe frazzled nerves, enhance good mood, bring peace, and minimize stress. However, while engaging in any form of art therapy for stress, switch off your critical mind. Hence stop worrying and simply lose yourself in the creative process. Remember, it’s the process that matters and not the technicalities of your drawings. So, the next time you find yourself engulfed by stress and anxiety, you know what to do!
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