Art is the gateway to the soul and a window to another world, art therapy combines both. One can’t help but be in awe at artists’ ability to convey emotions so beautifully.
Most people are ardent followers of art, and not just because of the beauty of it. A lot of art lovers fall for art pieces because they resonate with the heart. They have a somewhat placating effect or rekindle beautiful memories.
As such, trying art therapy could be just what you need to boost your mood or kill your depression. Science has proven time and again that art is incredible for boosting mental health.
This article will highlight how art therapy can be beneficial for your mood and even your bodily health. But first, it is important to have a firm understanding of what art therapy is.
What Is Art Therapy?
Art therapy is the utilization of art to achieve therapeutic fulfillment. Visual arts dominate this particular context. Any other art form for therapy may have a different name other than art therapy.
Unlike other forms of therapy, art therapy is at your discretion. You don’t have to see a licensed therapist or any professional for that matter. That said, it is still important to see a therapist. For best results, you’ll likely want to try combining art therapy with professional therapy services.
We recommend reaching out Pillar Counseling and Mental Wellness, if you are looking for a new therapist. Pillar Counseling and Mental Wellness offers online counseling which makes seeing a therapist accessible to anyone with a busy schedule. You can simply find a comfy spot to sit down, open your laptop or smartphone, and log in to a secure video conference with your therapist. No commute, no stress. Megan and her team are highly recommended and experienced with:
- Depression or overwhelming sadness
- Anxiety or panic attacks
- Personal Stress
- Low self-esteem
- Grief or loss
- History of a physical, emotional or sexual trauma
- Or simply feeling as though you need to discuss something in confidence
You can even join an art community to enhance your artistic prowess and grow your social spheres. Such establishments are great for interactions and are pretty fun. So joining one can be a huge leap in terms of boosting your overall mental health.
There are no rules to art. All you have to do is create and follow your heart. You are not limited to any particular media or technique. You can use anything around you as long as you ultimately create something.
Should You Try Art Therapy
You may think that art therapy is not for you, especially if you feel that you aren’t an artistic person. Understandably, a lot of people shy away from art because they are quite frankly not good at it.
Fortunately, with art therapy, you don’t need to be good at it. Art therapy is all about letting your emotions flow through your art. That said, always try to outdo yourself with each subsequent art endeavor.
Art therapy is for anyone suffering from depression, anxiety, and mood disorders. If you are grieving a loss, art therapy can help you recover from your loss.
Art therapy is also great for people with relationship issues, PTSD, and other mental disorders.
With that in mind, you don’t need a mental affliction to try out art therapy. Art is for anybody and everybody. Art therapy works best collectively, so get your family and friends into it too!
How Does Art Therapy Boost Your Mood?
Art has incredible benefits for mental health. It is also incredibly simple and works just as well, if not better, as any other therapy technique. Self-discovery and uplifting yourself are at the core of art therapy.
Here are some ways art therapy can help boost your mood and improve your mental health.
1. Distracts You from Your Issues
Distraction gives you temporary relief from your mental burden. Distraction doesn’t make the issue go away, but it’s a great start to the healing process.
Most of our mental issues are within and have no actual implications in the outside world. When it’s all in your head, a good art therapy session can help you forget the issues altogether.
When you’re constantly hammering yourself with negative thoughts, art can be the perfect escape. With art, you get to distract yourself constructively.
2. You’ll Make New Friends
By embracing art therapy, you’re joining a community of millions of other artists. Depending on your situation, you can join an art group and make new fruitful friendships.
Research shows that the majority of people with depression isolate themselves. This isolation only worsens the situation and makes them more estranged.
There are a lot of art communities across the country. These communities foster friendship and self-development through art with a common goal of improving well-being through learning art and developing friendships.
In such organizations, learning art in itself forms the basis of new friendships. With art, you always have something to talk about. You also get a shoulder to lean on and supportive relationships from your newly found friends.
For the socially awkward, talking about art is always a great ice breaker. Plus, if you’re good at it, you can get some new admirers. You might even make some extra cash from your art.
3. Reliability Through Art
Most folks with mental struggles feel as if their case is isolated. It is a greater burden when you’re under the impression that you’re the only one in pain and self-deprecating.
Luckily, art has been used since the beginning of time to convey feelings. Through artwork, you get to see through the artist’s lens. You also get a glimpse into the artist’s mind and emotional voyages.
Through various artwork, you get to understand that other people have also gone through what you’re experiencing. Introspectively, you’ll feel encouraged knowing that others have managed to come out of their dark hole.
By assessing a particular artist’s work, you’ll notice more than just an increase in painting aptness. Some artists evolve from a melancholic era to a blossoming and blissful series. The paintings are telling of a story or emergence from depression to a rebirth as a happy and fulfilled being.
You too can follow suit and find your redemption through watercolors on canvas. You can also get heaps of inspiration through other people’s work.
4. An Outlet for Your Frustrations
Scream therapy works because you air out your rage and anger and relieve tension through screaming. Art therapy works in just the same way but is more constructive. Art is an outlet of all your bundled up emotions and the perfect scapegoat for your moodiness.
Being Artistic has no rules, and you are free to let emotions and whims dictate every movement. Let your anger crystallize in unruly squiggles, eclectic spirals, or red blotches. As long as you let it all out; anything goes.
So instead of letting the negative emotions out on friends and family, try paper and pencil instead.
Logic aside, art therapy can help you come to terms with what you’re facing. Art taps into the side of the brain that engenders your emotions. You may get all the answers to whatever has been troubling you.
5. Artists Are Mentally Healthy
Artists, on average, suffer less from depression and loneliness when compared to the general population. The Research Center for Arts and Culture or RCAC has firmly established this affirmation.
What’s more, artists are very proactive members of society. Only a few artists stay cooped up in their studios all day. The rest actively take part in volunteer activities and are members of charity organizations.
There seems to be an uncanny correlation between art and mental well-being. And a couple of art sessions may ignite the happiness overwhelmed by negative emotions.
For instance, art is a crucial exercise in many retirement homes. The reason being, art brightens the mood of otherwise grumpy old folks. You don’t have to wait till you’re old to embrace art, though!
6. Gives You That Sense of Accomplishment
It’s not uncommon for people with mental disorders to feel a sense of nothingness. You can easily dispel this emptiness and feeling of uselessness by accomplishing something small.
What’s great about art is that you don’t have to be perfect. Art is an unconstrained subject free from any restrictions. You are free to let your heart and mind wander and have some fun while you’re at it.
When you’re short on accomplishments, get some paint and blank paper and get to work. If you do a good job, hang the painting up to serve as a reminder of an accomplishment.
Art instills a permanent sense of accomplishment needed to get rid of the feeling of uselessness. In the same way you hang a kid’s arts and crafts painting, you instill the same feeling of pride and achievement in yourself in an art therapy session.
You don’t need to have huge accomplishments to feel complete. An art project is a good start and a great stepping stone for even greater achievements.
Give Art Therapy a Try
Hopefully, you’re now convinced of the mental health benefits of art therapy and are ready to embrace it. Don’t know where to start? Worry not, there are plenty of art-by-numbers near you to get you acquainted with art therapy.
Contact us today and join a thriving community of art lovers to grow and develop as an artist and achieve better mental health.