Typically therapy can be thought of as sitting down and having some qualified person listen to your issues and discuss the. However there are so many types of therapy. A method that has been encouraged more and more when it comes to improving mental health is art and creativity.
For me, creativity is the perfect vent. I struggle talking to people, especially about my feelings and worries. This in itself means that even counselling and therapy, something that’s suppose to help me, can sometimes pile on the stress. Dealing with my feelings through art and creating something means no needs for words. I can explore my problems within my own space allowing me to be much more comfortable and at ease.
Often creativity helps you to express parts of yourself that are being hidden,” says Dr Sheridan Linnell, who runs the Master of Art Therapy course at the University of Western Sydney.
Art therapy is an actual thing and it’s becoming more and more common as a form of therapy to help people deal with an array of mental health issues. The concept of making art for therapeutic reasons actually dates back to the 1940s!
So why is art so great? There are many reasons why taking the time to create something is a great substitute for therapy.
Art can act as a distraction. It is something you can do to take your mind off of a problem and focus in on something else. When I am drawing or painting or whatever, my problems usually fade away as I am focusing on what I am making. If they don’t? Well I can utilise my problems into what I am creating. Either way it’s a great way to put our minds on pause. By the end of an art session, you should feel a lot more relaxed and can tackle any problems with a clear head.
Very similarly, when creating my art I can find myself almost in a meditative state. When doing creative things you experience something called ‘flow’. This is being so engaged in something that you can reach a near meditative state. Therefore, reaching this state, allows you to achieve the same benefits of mediation, leaving you less stressed.
Aside from all this, hobbies are the key to self-care. Life is can be very stressful and we have so many responsibilities on our hands. However it’s SO important to remember to take some downtime for yourself day to day. Hobbies allow a sense of balance in our lives. Even taking just a few minutes each day can make such a big difference to your state of mind. The best thing about drawing is not only do you feel better at the end but you also have a beautiful piece of art to show.
Scrapbooking is one of my favourite things!! If you’ve never tried and you’re a lover of art, I’d totally recommend. You can work in books, sketchbooks, journals, whatever! I love the leather bound journal I have now as it allows me to take it with me wherever and I can draw what I want whenever I want. A journal can be used on an everyday basis. This also gives possibility for different mini tasks to really reach your full potential of peace of mind. You can do little things like drawing out your emotions with pictures that show how your feeling. Even old events that have happened, drawing them out allows for a form of healing. Even just simply recording the beautiful things in life that you will pass everyday, reminding you there’s beauty in everything and everywhere. Art is a powerful tool but it’s what helps you best that will help you unlock its true potential and power. Try some different activities and see what works best for you.
Thank you for reading as always.