Art – no matter whether you choose to create it yourself or simply observe and enjoy it – is a relaxing and inspiring activity for many people. It is a great way to express your emotions without words, process complex feelings and find relief. You don’t necessarily have to see a therapist in order to experience some of the therapeutic benefits of artistic expression. There are many simple activities you can try from the comfort of your home such as art journaling, sketching, making collages, sculpting with clay, etc. It doesn’t matter what media you choose. The only thing that matters is that you feel comfortable using it.
If the activities are done in a group, they are excellent for building healthy connections with other people, which may be very helpful if you are fighting depression.
Anyone who feels overwhelmed or pressured by the hectic world we live in should try art therapy. Creating art will give you a chance to slow down and explore any issues you may be having.
Since the focus is on the process and not the final product, art therapy is not about becoming a great artist but about finding meaning and connection in your life. All you need for it is a willingness to experiment.
Some of the benefits of art therapy is:
Self-discovery: Creating art can help you acknowledge and recognize feelings that have been lurking in your subconscious.
Self-esteem: The process will give you a feeling of self-accomplishment which can be very valuable to improve your self-appreciation and confidence.
Emotional release: The greatest benefit of art therapy is giving you a healthy outlet for expressing and letting go all your feelings and fears. Complex emotions such as sadness or anger sometimes cannot be expressed with words. When you are unable to express yourself, but you desire emotional release, making art may help you to do it.
Stress relief: Fighting anxiety, depression or emotional trauma can be very stressful for you both mentally and physically. Creating art can be used to relieve stress and relax your mind and body.
It is very important to know that you don’t have to be a talented artist in order to try art therapy. Human beings are innately creative, and all you need to do to complete an art therapy activity successfully is, to be honest with yourself and your emotions. Once you unleash your creativity, your inner artist will quickly wake up.
Studies also show that creating art stimulates the release of dopamine. This chemical is released when we do something pleasurable, and it basically makes us feel happier. Increased levels of this feel-good neurotransmitter can be very helpful if you are battling anxiety or depression.