It’s no secret that art is an unmatched form of expression. Around the world, artists pour out their feelings through various art mediums when emotions are too vast to say out loud. However, it doesn’t stop there. Arts and Minds, an art and mental health charity, looked into the correlation between art and mental health. Their evaluation revealed a 71% decrease in feelings of anxiety for participants who engaged in activities like printmaking and sculptures.
With the rise in mental health awareness, it’s only fitting that the correlation between art and mental health gets its chance in the spotlight. So let’s take a closer look at some ways art can benefit your mental health.
Helps You Work Through Emotions
While emotions are necessary for healthy human development, they can become overwhelming at times. They may even begin to interfere with our daily lives. When this happens, many people turn to coping methods just to make it through the day. Art therapy is a way to help express the emotions and feelings bottled up inside you in a healthy manner. Instead of avoiding or suppressing your emotions, art can give you a safe space to navigate through them.
Improves Self Esteem
Creating art can contribute to improvements in self-esteem. Since self-esteem is determined by the personal value you give yourself, you may wonder how art can play a role. Art therapy exercises can help you visualize what negative feelings you have about yourself.
You might do this by creating a piece of art that reveals the negative things you feel about yourself. Once you’ve done this, change it to display the positive traits you think that you have. If you’re struggling to come up with some, ask a friend about what they appreciate about you. Then work to implement these into your art piece.
Promotes Feelings of Community
Feelings of loneliness and isolation can negatively impact your mental health. Everyone wants to feel that they belong, and art can give you a sense of community and belonging. In addition, getting involved in art programs gives you the power to build new social connections and meet people who have similar feelings.
Art Activities for Mental Health
If you’re not sure where to start, we’ve put together a few art activities you can try:
- Draw your emotions: Focus on painting only what you feel. Get absorbed in your feelings and put them down on paper.
- Let music inspire your painting: Create a playlist of music and let the songs influence your emotions. Then, paint what you feel from each song.
- Make a collage: Use words to create inspiration or use a mixture of mediums to express your feelings.
- Take photographs: Take photos of things around you that you find beautiful. Print out the photos as a physical remembrance that life is beautiful.
- Create a self-portrait: Create a drawing or portrait of yourself that represents who you are or want to be.
Have you done art activities for your mental health? What have you found helpful?