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There Is Rest in Art: Art Therapy for Stress Relief

When the going gets tough, the tough get going — or they do some de-stressing.

De-stressing takes different forms according to the person. Some of the common stress-relieving activities include going out for a drink with friends, eating favorite treats, or even engaging in retail therapy. Others still would rather take a walk in the park or do some yoga.

But if you are looking for a different kind of stress relief, consider art. Art therapy, to be more specific.

The American Art Therapy Association defines art therapy as a form of psychotherapy that uses art media, creative process, and the resulting artwork to explore an individual’s feelings. This type of stress relief uses art to also reduce anxiety and increase self-esteem.

There is more to art therapy than doodling and making art with stamp sets. It is a valuable stress reliever, even for those who don’t consider themselves to be artists.

Art Alleviates Stress

Paint liquid colliding

Art therapy takes your mind off circumstances and other worries by offering the following:

  • Positive Distraction. Drawing and other forms of crafts temporarily distract you from things or situations that stress you out. It’s difficult to ponder on your problems when you focus more on creating your art. If the problems stay with you while you do art, you can express your frustrations via the medium.

Also, after each project, you’ll have a clearer head, which enables you to see your issues from a fresh perspective.

  • Self-Care. Sometimes, the rush of life’s responsibilities can make you forget the need for personal downtime. Having a hobby offers balance to any busy lifestyle. Taking a few minutes off to devote to art is one of the best forms of self-care. Arts and crafts give you the opportunity to show something beautiful or interesting.
  • Personal Expression. Talking about a problem can be a good form of release, but it can also emphasize your worries. You don’t have to verbalize your feelings with art therapy. Instead, it enables you to express what you feel and release the stress without words.

Art Project Ideas for Stress Relief

One of the best ways to practice art therapy anytime, anywhere is by maintaining a sketch diary. Keeping a sketchbook is a cathartic form of journaling that promotes creativity and stress relief. Draw pictures that describe your feelings when you feel stressed. If the roots of your stress are at the back of your mind, sketching is a way of processing related emotions and reducing the emotional burden.

Coloring also has a therapeutic potential to reduce your anxiety and renew your focus. Adult coloring books, therefore, can also help you relax. Similar to meditation, coloring allows you to switch off the brain from other thoughts and focus coloring within the lines. Mandals are popular coloring objects since the geometric patterns force your thoughts to keep a keen eye on coloring.

It’s important to take a break whenever life gets too stressful for you. This is where art therapy can help. Add more color to your life by de-stressing with art.