The power of art: how unleashing creativity boosts mental health
Studies show that when people express themselves through art, levels of depression and anxiety are reduced. Art has been proven to even be a form of therapeutic meditation because we relax our body’s and mind, allowing free-flowing emotions to manifest in our creations rather than inside our head. It’s much like getting all your thoughts out in a journal, but this way gives you the opportunity to express the more complex feelings that you can’t put into words.
As Laci Bennett from ArtToRemember puts it, art “has an impact on brain wave patterns and emotions, the nervous system, and can actually raise serotonin levels. Art can change a person’s outlook and the way they experience the world.”. By channelling our focus towards creating something visually enriching, we withdraw our mind from external thoughts and stresses which allows us to enter a practice of mindfulness.
And the great thing is we all know there are no mistakes in art! So, there is no room for the stress of perfectionism in this practice. This makes art an even more attractive solution to calming the stresses and anxieties circling through our mind.
Below are our three tips for how to add some artful expression into your week:
- Colouring Books. These were super trendy recently for a good reason: they’re fun and easy! Grab some colouring pencils (they don’t have to be artist quality) and get shading. This is a particularly good option because there’s no drawing skills needed; all the lines you need have already been expertly crafted.
For those who are more technologically inclined, consider downloading a colour by number app on your mobile device.
- Mixed Media Scrap Book. Go crazy with paints, inks, fun papers, photos, embellishments and whatever your heart desires with this form of art. This is a great option for those of us looking for an aesthetic way to represent wholesome memories. You might want to reminisce over the last holiday you took by printing off some photos, getting those postcards and ticket stubs you kept in that old shoe box, and sticking them down with some cute lettering and decoupage.
Again, a technological alternative could involve designing scrapbook moments on a mobile app such as Canva to share on your social media platforms.
- No, we don’t mean portraits or landscapes. Unless that’s your feng-shui. However, with a pack of acrylic paints from the dollar store you can transform blank canvasses, terracotta planters, wooden picture frames, or anything your heart desires really. This kind of painting can be as basic or elaborate as you want.
Try using tape to make abstract shapes and fill in the gaps with your favourite colours. Or try making a pattern with simplified shapes like strawberries, bees or daisies. When your creative juices need a little extra help, try looking to Pinterest for inspiration.
Expressing yourself through art is clearly an excellent way to bring a sense of peace and enrichment to your mind. If the ways of Picasso fail to ease your woes, however, consider taking our Sedistress supplement which may assist to reduce symptoms of mild stress and anxiety.
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