Stress is a normal, even healthy, part of life. Our bodies are built to respond and deal with it in various ways, but occasionally we fall out of sync, and feel overwhelmed by our stressors. This can lead to a whole myriad of problems, such as poor sleep, a lack of focus, and a weakened immune system.
There are ways to help take control of our stress to alleviate the worst of it, or even work alongside more professional approaches. Art therapy is one such technique, and is popular for even those who consider themselves artistically-challenged as a way to release tension and reduce anxiety. Read on to discover the various ways drawing can help relieve stress.
1. Stress and Your Health
Regular doses of stress are normal, and although they may often feel overwhelming, are generally well regulated by your own body's physiological responses. However, there are times when stress may actually become more than what your body can handle. Low hormone levels, injury, and medications, to name a few, can offset how you deal with stress.
This can lead to issues with sleep, headaches, skin problems, problems with focus, or even influence more severe issues in time- such as increased chances of weight gain, heart issues, and complications with diabetes. Learning how to recognize stress and work on ways to help alleviate it is a great way to help bring it back under control.
2. Art Therapy Defined
Art therapy, defined professionally, is a mental health and human service to help improve cognitive and sensorimotor functions. Although many people may not seek out licensed therapists, or even seek a diagnosis for therapy services, applying your own artistic skills on a regular basis is not a difficult thing to do to alleviate stress and anxiety. It helps improve a sense of personal well-being, which in turn lowers stress levels and the negative thoughts and feelings that accompanies it.
Don’t worry, you don’t have to have any sort of artistic bone in your body if this approach worries you. Simple doodles, line drawings, and coloring are all ways to apply this technique and refocus yourself away from anxiety influencing stressors.
3. Benefits of Drawing to Help Alleviate Stress
There are many ways drawing, doodling, coloring, etc... can alleviate stress. Take a look at these benefits to convince yourself to pick up a set of markers, pencils, paints, or any other medium you prefer to get started. Don’t negate the amazing products you can find to create either. Watercolor tubes, fine-pointed detailing pens, highly rated alcohol based markers, and a huge array of surfaces to work upon exist for your use.
Take Your Mind off Your Problems
Getting yourself involved with any sort of creation helps influence a new focus and takes your mind off your problems. Many times stress is compounded due to the inability to “walk away” from it all, leaving you feeling mentally exhausted and unable to concentrate on what is important. This often leaves you feeling relaxed and allows you to think more clearly.
Art is a Form of Meditation
Meditation is a way to cut yourself off from unwanted energy and negative, circling thoughts. When you engage in creating art it helps focus your thoughts, lower your heart rate, lower your breathing, and allows you to clear your mind.
Focus Your Attention
Often, those experiencing high levels of stress find themselves utterly unable to truly focus their attention on any one task. However, drawing and coloring doesn't require much thought and is a task you can do without any pre-planning, or worry about the end results. It helps you focus on the task, without any of the details that may hold you back from getting started or anxiety about anyone else’s opinion about your work.
Creating is an amazing way to express yourself in a whole new way without worry of judgment or end results. Often, the practice takes on a life of its own and can be both inspiring and relaxing.
Start a New Hobby
Starting a new hobby makes your brain work, sharpens cognitive function, and influences connections. These are all positive benefits that, when strengthened, help you better deal with stressors when they begin.
Improve Your Mood
Self-expression is an excellent way to improve your mood. It increases a feel-good response and helps release endorphins that last well past the end of your artistic session. Since you also will set aside things worrying you, your whole body will be much more relaxed as well.
Whether you are feeling some basic stressors, or struggling with chronic stress and tension, involving yourself in a form of art is a great way to help bring it back under control. You don’t have to have any talents to take advantage of this therapy technique either, however, who knows? Maybe you will awaken hidden skills!