Though many see art simply as a fun pastime, engaging with art can have powerful therapeutic benefits. Art therapy is a form of treatment that utilizes the act of artistic expression to promote psychological well-being. Art therapy is an accessible avenue through which you can find relaxation, comfort, and even discover aspects about yourself that you weren’t aware of previously. Art therapy can be practiced alone or with a therapist. When you are feeling overwhelmed or stressed by daily life, creating art can be an activity that you use to reduce stress and promote mental wellness. You don’t have to be a trained artist to participate in art therapy. All people, at any age and any level of experience, can use art to improve their mental stability.
Expressing Emotions Freely
Some emotions can be too complex to easily put into words. By using art to express yourself, you may be able to find an outlet for emotions in a way that you wouldn’t be able to release verbally. This can be especially beneficial for children. Children tend to have difficulty describing complex feelings; allowing them to do so through art can give them an outlet for the emotions that they are feeling.
Bottling up your emotions is never a good idea. Sooner or later, they will begin to affect how you feel or act, and can become much more difficult to exhume once they’re buried in your mind. Using art therapy to relieve and express what you are feeling can be a great method of getting something heavy off of your chest. This can be especially helpful when you don’t want to verbalize how you feel. Instead, you are able to grab a pencil or paintbrush and allow your emotions to make themselves known.
Reducing Stress and Depression
Art therapy has been shown to reduce levels of stress and depression in those who practice it. You are meant to use art therapy as a tool to rid yourself of overwhelming emotions. One popular form of art therapy is to keep a sketchbook that serves as an art journal. Many people experience feelings of catharsis and stress relief after getting their feelings out in their sketchbooks.
Studies have shown that even one session of creating art can reduce cortisol levels, which is a prime indicator of stress. Setting aside time each day to work on art can help you unwind and get the stress of the day out of your mind. Studies have also shown that art therapy can serve as a viable treatment for those suffering from depression. No matter who you are, art therapy can be an easy way to boost your mood and relieve stress.
Generating Fulfillment and Self-Esteem
Putting time and effort into a specific task each day can yield strong feelings of self-fulfillment, even if the task is enjoyable. Watching your catalog of art grow and seeing your creative progress will instill in you the sense that you can accomplish worthwhile goals. By watching yourself commit to an activity, you will begin to internalize greater self-esteem and confidence in your own abilities.
Feeling capable is a trait experienced by people with high self-esteem. Through the practice of art therapy, you will be able to fulfill yourself by creating something new in the world. You will also raise your self-esteem and grow confidence in your ability to put effort into a goal over a long period. Art therapy gives you a catalog of physical objects in which you can visually perceive your progression. Sometimes, seeing proof of your ability to grow can be an impactful and reassuring experience.
Stimulating the Brain and Prompting Focus
Studies have shown that the act of creating art can increase your focus and concentration. By increasing your mental fortitude, you build vital resilience that can apply to numerous other areas of life. Engaging in art therapy over time will allow you to build up psychological stamina, increasing the time in which you can focus on a single task. This is an ability that can come in handy in a plethora of situations, such as work projects, creative pursuits, and your interpersonal relationships.
Many of us have lives that are filled to the brim with tasks, which can become stressful and overwhelming. By incorporating a habit of art therapy into your life, you provide yourself with the chance to cultivate a dedicated experience of stopping to focus on something that is relaxing and ultimately beneficial to the state of your mental health.
Art therapy is a therapeutic modality with a multitude of impactful benefits. On top of being an enjoyable pastime, art therapy is extremely accessible. Art therapy works for individuals of all ages and can be done in a variety of settings. Through engaging in art, people are given an outlet to express their emotions in a non-verbal manner. Expressing complex emotions through art can be especially beneficial for children, given that they may not be capable of expressing themselves accurately through language. Studies have shown that engaging in an artistic project can lower levels of stress and depression, increase levels of concentration, and help you appreciate your personal progress and internalize your ability to accomplish great things. For more information on mental wellness, reach out to True Recovery in Southern California. We offer a wide variety of services for addiction, mental health, and personal wellness that are personalized to meet your unique needs. Call us at (866) 399-6528.