What are the mental health benefits of art therapy?
Photo by Elena Mozhvilo on Unsplash
It’s a well-known fact that creating or simply observing art can produce a range of emotions through visual stimulation. Art can inspire us, evoking feelings of joy, pleasure, and serenity, and even changing our perspective on things. When applied in a therapy setting, art can be a powerful tool for addressing a range of mental health issues.
The way art therapy works is by giving individuals an opportunity to tackle their emotions and mental health through artistic expression so that they can understand themselves better. In this article, we’ll be exploring different ways art therapy can be beneficial and how it can be used to improve our mental health and well-being.
An effective way of releasing stress
Whether a person is dealing with emotional trauma or feeling anxious and depressed, fighting negative emotions and thoughts on a daily basis can be incredibly draining. It can cause both physical and mental stress leaving you feeling overwhelmed and unable to focus your energy on the task at hand.
Instead of letting the stressful daily demands take a toll on your physical, emotional, and mental well-being and turning to harmful substances to address them, you can use art as a means of releasing stress and negative energy and transforming them into something positive. This can help you build positive, lasting habits which you can turn to whenever you feel stressed out. That way, you can relieve stress in a way that’s healthy for you.
A healthy outlet for letting go of negative feelings and fears
Sometimes, expressing your feelings is something you simply cannot achieve through words. This is especially true in cases of intense negative emotions such as sadness, anger, or fear. Where words fail, art speaks, and this can be especially useful for individuals dealing with mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, phobias, and PTSD.
Art therapy is a way to release emotions, and in a time of a global health crisis when we’re staying at home more than usual, art can be used as a hobby to address our emotions by expressing them. By simply heading to our local art suppliers and investing in our tools and materials, we can make the most of this healing activity. It can be anything, from paintings and pictures to sculptures or simply a few lines. The art you create will serve as a vehicle for exploring your own thoughts and emotions and making connections to your personal life.
A way to boost your self-esteem
Having a healthy level of self-esteem is vital for maintaining a positive sense of well-being and mental health. An individual with good self-esteem is able to address and cope with daily stresses more easily, remain productive, and set goals that will help them achieve their fullest potential. That’s not to say that a confident individual never feels sad, angry, or negative. However, they are more likely to actively seek ways to improve the situation that’s making them feel negative, as well as put in the effort towards developing healthy habits.
The way art therapy can help individuals struggling with their self-esteem is by helping them discover their value. Finishing an art project creates the feeling of accomplishment, while the verbal praise that you get from other people will improve your self-confidence, and you’ll start to appreciate yourself more.
An exciting journey to self-discovery
Art is a powerful tool for self-expression. It prompts creativity, helping us get in touch with our thoughts and emotions and portray them in a way that would be much more challenging to do if we were to use the words alone. After all, we are all dealing with feelings that may be lurking in the hidden parts of our minds, weighing on our subconsciousness. These feelings can be difficult to talk about with other people. Sometimes, the easiest way we can recognize these emotions is through artistic expression.
Art therapy helps individuals create art that will help acknowledge their thoughts and emotions. By reflecting on the art pieces we’ve created, we can get insight into the jumbled feelings from our subconscious mind and understand them more clearly. This way, we’re able to nurture self-discovery and embrace the journey of life.
There’s no doubt that artistic expression can benefit us in more ways than one, and art therapy is a great way to take advantage of this inspiring activity. While it may not be for everyone, art therapy can certainly be beneficial for many individuals.
Whether you’re looking for a way to release your emotions, manage stress, or feel more in control of your life, art therapy can be a stepping stone in helping you understand yourself, your emotions, and your mental health.