Art is one of the most relaxing and inspiring activities people engage in, whether they create it themselves or observe it. Artistic expression, however, provides several benefits beyond relaxation and enjoyment.
Several studies have shown that art therapy can be an effective way to treat depression, anxiety, panic attacks, and also some forms of phobias. With it, you can express your emotions without words, process your feelings, and find relief.
The term “art therapy” is a general term that refers to the application of visual arts in a therapeutic environment. The concept of art therapy generally revolves around the art process rather than its final form.
It is how you feel as you make your art and what you learn about yourself that matters most.
The benefits of art therapy include a safe, non-judgmental environment in which to explore your interpretation of it.
Depending on your level of experience, this may take place in an open studio setting with some guidance or in a trained, structured class where art skills are taught. By actively participating in creative activities, you will gain more focus, relaxation, and the ability to express yourself.
As a treatment for mental illness, art therapy uses the creative process of making art as a safe way to express inner experiences, create awareness, and facilitate personal change.
Along with creating art, the art therapist offers relaxation techniques, visualization, and guided imagery during therapy sessions.
By doing this, you can cope better with stress and difficult circumstances, and return to feeling normal sooner. An art therapist offers a safe, supportive space for an individual to deal with difficult emotions.
Benefits of art therapy activities for mental health
Art therapy can be used to complement traditional forms of mental health treatment. Its goals include managing behavior, processing feelings, and decreasing anxiety and stress.
- Self-discovery: Exposing and acknowledging your hidden emotions can help you discover new insights into yourself.
- Self-esteem: By completing the process, you will feel a sense of accomplishment which is great for developing your self-esteem and confidence.
- Stress relief: Mentally and physically, anxiety, depression, or traumatic experiences can make you tired and exhausted. You can reduce your stress and tension through creative expression.