Health & Art – Art Therapy

Art and the New Year

by Madelyn Kitchell

For the new year, a lot of us create resolutions, and not too many resolutions are ever followed through. One of my current resolutions is to reduce stress. Reducing stress can benefit everyone! You may wonder how this is all tied into art. Many studies have been done and art is a great way to relieve one’s stress. According to the American Art Therapy Association, only 45 minutes of creative activity can reduce stress. You may be thinking that you aren’t that artistic or experienced with art, but no matter what experience level you are at it will still help reduce stress levels. Art helps to reduce stress levels by taking your mind off of the greater problems in life and transferring it into your creativity. Art creates a state of flow that is similar to types of meditation. Other things that might create this state of flow are things like playing your favorite sports, practicing a musical instrument, or even gardening. Let’s dive into some of the ways you can get started in reducing your stress creatively. 

One easy artistic way to get started is to keep a sketchbook. You could draw what you feel. Doing this allows you to express emotions that may be difficult to express through words. Another way you could use your sketchbook is to create a gratitude journal. You can combine writing and drawings of what you are grateful for or simply what you enjoy. 

Another easy way to bring out this creativity if you don’t want to draw or sketch is coloring. Many think coloring is only for kids but this is completely not true. There are many coloring books out there for adults. You can find really detailed adult coloring books or very simplistic ones depending on how you feel. Coloring still allows you to have creative independence while having guidelines. There are many themes of coloring books you can find so find something you enjoy! 

Start an art class or workshop! Go to the art center or a local college that may be hosting art classes. You may find something new that you enjoy and can then practice on your own or still with others. There are many places nearby that have different types of creative classes. Some nearby classes that I’ve personally seen are ceramics, photography, painting, and many others. There are also online art classes that help guide you through different processes. Whether in-person or online these classes are really helpful to learn new things and meet amazing people!

There are many other side avenues of art you can get into. Some examples are sketching and drawing, painting, coloring, writing, photography, ceramics, or even knitting. There are many other forms of art you can get into other than the ones I listed. If you want to reduce your stress this new year and dive into your creative side get into art! I hope you all have a great new year and unleash your creativity!

%d bloggers like this: