When was the last time you picked up a paintbrush or a color pencil?
Maybe it's been a while, but when was the last time you doodled in your notebook during a class?
Most of the time, when we think of art, we tend to think that it's just not our jam. However, a lack of creativity doesn't mean that we cannot express ourselves using it: there is so much to art than just being ‘good at drawing’. Allowing our brains for free expression, even by doodling, can positively impact the way we process, retain, and share information.
The old saying, ‘A picture is worth a thousand words,’ reflects the powerful effect that art and creative expression have on human understanding. Just as how a painting or piece of music can say so much more than words could ever have, art therapy provides individuals a new pathway towards self-expression.
What is Art Therapy?
Art therapy is a form of expressive therapy that uses the creative process of making art to improve a person’s physical, mental, and emotional well-being. The goal of art therapy is to utilize the creative process to help people explore self-expression and, in doing so, find new ways to gain personal insight and develop new coping skills.
Art therapy neither requires artistic knowledge, nor is it the same as creating your own art. It focuses on creation and meaning making rather than the product. A safe space, backed by a therapeutic relationship to address underlying emotions, is created.
Benefits of Art Therapy -
Helps express what words cannot - Art therapy provides an alternative form of expression and feelings when it is hard to express them in words.
Improves Self Esteem - The process of creating art can give you the feeling of self accomplishment, which can help you appreciate yourself.
Self discovery - Creating art can help you acknowledge feelings that have been lurking in your subconscious.
Emotional Release - The biggest benefit of art therapy is that it gives a healthy outlet for all your feelings and fears.
Art Therapy Activities That You Can Try -
Draw or paint your emotions
Put together an art journal
Paint to music
Make a scribble drawing
Only use colors that calm you
Draw your vision of a perfect day
Take photographs of things you think are beautiful
Work with clay
There are times when we find it hard to express our feelings and sometimes even understanding them, using a creative outlet like art can provide us with tools to honestly express ourselves by just going with the flow. Next time you feel stressed, pick a sheet of paper and your art supplies and do anything that comes to mind, doodle, paint, scribble, anything that helps to let go of it all.