Engaging in fun, creative activities can be a powerful way to combat stress and find inner peace. Explore how you can make the most of the therapeutic benefits art provides to help reduce long-term stress and anxiety.

Art as a form of expression

One of the reasons art is so effective in relieving stress is its ability to provide a means of self-expression. When you're stressed, it's hard to express your feelings with words. However, through art, you can express feelings that are otherwise difficult to portray. Whether it's through painting, drawing, or sculpting, you're able to release pent-up emotions and gain a sense of clarity.

Engaging your senses

Art also has a unique way of engaging the senses, which can help distract you from stress and promote relaxation.

When you're fully engaged in a creative activity, you tune into the present moment, releasing worries about the past or future. Mixing colours on a canvas, feeling clay's texture, or listening to soothing music are some examples of how to help engage multiple senses. Helping you to calm your mind and body.

Mindfulness and meditation

Many art activities, such as drawing or colouring, can be meditative practices that promote mindfulness. When you focus on a task, such as drawing or colouring, you enter a state of flow. In this state, you are completely focused on the present moment. This can help also reduce stress and anxiety, as it allows you to let go of racing thoughts and simply be in the moment.

Creating a safe space

Art also provides a safe space where you can escape from the pressures of daily life and express yourself without judgment - you don't need to be a budding artist.  Art provides a peaceful escape and a way to connect with yourself, whether you're painting, doodling, or crafting. This sense of sanctuary can be very therapeutic, allowing you to recharge and rejuvenate.

Building resilience

Engaging in art can also help build resilience. By channelling your emotions into creative outlets, you develop coping mechanisms that enable you to navigate life's challenges more effectively. Instead of feeling overwhelmed by stress, why not learn to channel your energy into productive and constructive activities that promote growth and healing.

Middle aged man colouring

Getting started tips

Here are a few tips to help you get started:

  1. Start small: You don't need to be a professional artist to benefit from art therapy. Begin with simple activities like colouring, doodling, or finger painting, and gradually explore more techniques as you become more comfortable.
  2. Experiment with different creative arts: Explore a variety of art mediums, such as painting, drawing, sculpture, or collage, to find what resonates with you. Each medium offers a unique way of expressing yourself and may evoke different emotions and reduce anxiety.
  3. Set aside time: Dedicated time in your schedule for creating art, even if it's just a few minutes each day. Prioritise self-care and make art a regular part of your routine.
  4. Let go of being perfect: Remember that art is about the process, not the outcome. Don't worry about creating a masterpiece鈥攆ocus on enjoying your artistic expression without judgment.
  5. Seek support if needed: If you're struggling with stress or mental health issues, don't hesitate to seek support from a therapist or counsellor. Art therapy can complement talk therapy and help you explore and process emotions in a new way.

In conclusion, the power of art is a great tool for battling stress and promoting overall wellbeing. Whether you're painting, drawing, or sculpting, engaging in creative activities allows you to express yourself, engage the senses, practice mindfulness, and build resilience. By making art a regular part of your routine, you can find peace among the chaos just through a piece of art.

Curious about the art courses offered by WEA? Click below to explore our range of creative classes!

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About the author

Priyanki Patel

National Marketing Officer

Priyanki Patel is the National Marketing Officer at the WEA.