5 Tips For Using Art To Relieve Stress

Art is therapy.  It allows you to let it all out without obviously letting it all out.  The act of choosing colors or running with a photography idea or putting together chords on the piano release something inside of you.  Creating a piece of art is like magic.

Art is therapy. It allows thoughts to flow and promotes calm and relaxation. #relax #calm #meditation

A little while ago I posted a question on Facebook: What are you most likely to be doing at 9pm on a week night?

One answer in particular intrigued me.  A friend of a friend Sara answered “Colouring to relax before bed after a crazy day with my three boys.”

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One of Sara’s works in progress. I love her color choices and shading.

Colouring to relax?  I was intrigued.  I sent her a message and asked her to tell me more.  Here’s what she told me:

“Right now I’m working in an adult colouring book called ‘Secret Garden‘. I also use printables so my five year old can colour with me. As of now I’ve been using just regular old Crayola coloured pencils as the fancy ones are far too expensive for me. I’ve used markers but don’t like how I can’t combine colours, shade etc.”

Here’s what I love about this.  Sara uses really simple tools and she plans for her kiddo to color with her.

It took me a bit to find my groove but I recently got into coloring as well and it has been pretty fun.

My other artsy en devours have included photography, experimenting with water colors, and creating with polymer clay.

Stress buster getting artsy

 

Whatever creative outlet you pursue here are a few things to remember:

You are doing this to relieve stress.  

Don’t sweat the small stuff.  Not every picture you snap or note you hit are going to be perfect.  It’s no big deal.

Prepare yourself.

If you are involving your kids, remember that the unexpected might happen.  If you don’t think you can handle a spilled jar of water at that particular moment, don’t bust out the paints.  Maybe stick to markers or pencil crayons.

Embrace the process.

You might not be able to fix every “mistake” but you can learn from it. Try new things, run with your ideas. The worst that will happen is you will learn how to do it better next time.

Look for the good.

Negative thoughts build up stress.  Look for the things you love about your finished product.  Is there a photo where the light is gorgeous or maybe the way you outlined a flower is particularly beautiful.  Find your favorite part.

Celebrate.

Creating a piece of art is a brave and vulnerable thing.  Celebrate that you stepped out, you tried something new or you decided that today is the day you are going to show off your artwork.

Expressing your creativity is a powerful tool.  It allows your thoughts to flow in ways they’re not used to, training your brain for calm and relaxation.  Do it as often as you can.

Do you do anything artsy to bust stress?  I’d love to hear about it. 

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