Sometimes just putting paint to paper and watching the magic happen is so calming, right? Creating art is like a visual form of journaling or meditation that’s not only peaceful, it’s therapeutic!
Please note: I am not a medical professional or an art therapist. This is not medical advice but rather just me sharing my own personal experiences. As always, consult with a professional for mental health support.
I’m not going to get into the logistics and history of art therapy or give you any specific exercises to try through art therapy. Only speaking from experience, art has helped my own anxiety tremendously! Below. I have 2 tips for practicing art in a way that will bring more calm and peace to your life and hopefully help you turn off the stress and anxiety from the day.
HOW TO USE ART TO CALM YOUR MIND
Paint your emotions
Whether you’re feeling nervous or angry, happy or sad, think of your paintbrush like a pen and the paper like your journal. The space you create with colors and shapes are a visual form of journaling. In other words, it’s writing down your feelings without using words! This may be a step outside of your comfort zone, but be expressive. The final piece is probably not going to be a masterpiece, and that’s ok! That’s not the point. Turn off your conscious mind and just let your subconscious play for a bit and see what you find!
What does peace look like for you? For me, I’m most at peace when I’m by the ocean. When it’s morning and the mist and fog are hovering over the water and there’s no one on the beach but me…that is where I go when I’m feeling stressed or anxious. Think about where that place is for you and paint it! Again, this doesn’t need to be the best painting you’ve ever done. This is an exercise in visualizing peace and calm, so you can bring that into your life at that moment.
Whether you’re painting through these or not, painting is always a calming practice for me. It helps my mind be still and releases my tight grip on whatever is causing me to feel anxious. If you don’t believe me, check out the comments on this YouTube video for encouragement. Try it out!