At this time and age, stress has become an inevitable part of everyone’s life. With so many people tackling so many things at once, nearly everyone seems to be overstressed. One way to help your mental health is through art therapy. Have you ever felt a sense of calmness when you picked a paintbrush, wrote in your journal, or just started colouring? Over the years, several studies have shown the positive effects of art therapy on mental health. This World Mental Health Day, let’s find out how you only need 45 minutes of art therapy to keep your stress levels in check.
Art therapy is the practice of using creative techniques to treat psychological problems and improve mental wellness. The practice of art therapy is based on the notion that artistic expression can promote recovery and mental health, as per a study published in The Arts in Psychotherapy. The purpose of art therapy is to help people use self-expression as a way to develop new skills and let out their emotions instead of bottling them up. Studies have shown that people were able to explore their emotions, be more self-aware, learn to manage stress and improve their social skills by making or appreciating art.
A study published in An International Journal for Research, Policy, and Practice found that practicing art for just 45 minutes can reduce the levels of cortisol, the stress hormone. For the study, the researchers included 39 healthy adults aged 18-59 years, with 33 women and 6 men. An art therapist-led 45 minutes of individual art-making in an open studio setting for the study. Before and after the art-making session, participants filled out surveys that included the Positive and
Negative Affect Schedule and General Self-Efficacy Scale. Participants gave brief summaries of their artwork and remarks about their art-making process at the session’s conclusion. It was found that free art-making in this context significantly reduced stress by inducing positivity and improving self-efficacy.
So, when life’s too difficult for you to manage, turn to art for just 45 minutes to ward off stress. Managing stress is as important a task as any other thing in your life. Art could be a thing that can help you change the emotional and mental state you’re stuck in. Practising art regularly can help improve your overall health, including your mental health.
If you have been feeling too stressed lately and looking for simple yet effective ways to improve mental health and lower stress levels, try these therapies. Here are some of the best art therapies to reduce stress:
Do you love dancing? Well, you’re in for a treat because it can help reduce stress levels significantly. Known as dance or movement therapy, it is one of the most effective methods to promote emotional, social, physical, and cognitive health. A study published in The Arts in Psychotherapy found that dance movement therapy helps reduce stress. It was found that stress was reduced significantly after 6 months of dance therapy.
Have you ever tried mandala colouring? Well, studies have shown that colouring is a healthy way to calm the brain and help the body relax, relieving stress. Since it helps ease stress and promote relaxation, it can also help induce sleep. If you have been looking for ways to ward off stress, try colouring as it may help!
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People who practice pottery often call it therapeutic and relaxing. This is because it calms their mind and relieves stress. Studies have also shown that making pottery can relieve stress and boost your mental health.
Have you ever written a poem or paragraph about how you are feeling at the moment? Sometimes putting your emotions on paper helps you deal with the stress in life. According to Harvard Health Publishing, writing about your thoughts and feelings about a stressful time in life may help overcome the problem.
Stress can keep you in a constant state of unease that affects everything from your sleep schedule to your appetite. Something as easy as putting pencil to paper might help you take control of your thoughts and keep stress levels in check. A study published in the Journal of the American Art Therapy Association found that just 20 minutes of drawing may help reduce stress and improve mood.