Art on its own is a great way to express yourself and show everyone your talent. As an artist myself, I find the time I spend creating art work not only exciting but very personal. It is just me and my materials. But the question we want to know is, does art reduce stress?
We are first introduced to art in grade school. From finger painting, crayons, to the molding of clay, we used art through out most of the day.
As an adult, we don’t express ourselves with art in the same way but the benefits of art remain the same. Art is a great tool for stress relief even when you aren’t that great at it.
Benefits of Art
Distraction – Art allows you to take your mind off of things that may be stressing you even if only for a few minutes. You can create your own escape as you focus on your task at hand allowing you to clear your head.
“Me” Time – Everyone needs a little time alone, especially mom. Taking a few minutes a day to yourself to focus on a hobby allows some time to take care of yourself. It gives you a reason to get away from everyone to do something you enjoy.
Fun Ways to Enjoy Art
I have been drawing since I was five years old. One of my favorites things to do as a child was to take my favorite Disney books and recreate the characters. I started off by tracing the characters and then I was able to draw them on my own. This advanced into painting and other mediums. I keep a journal of all my drawings and have days where I sit with my son and daughter and draw. You don’t have to be an expert artist to find a way to enjoy art to relieve stress you just need to find what works for you.
Adult Coloring Books – Coloring books, something children are pretty familiar with but “adult” coloring books, when did this happen? Art coloring books have become increasingly popular over the years. They are available every where from Walmart to the Dollar stores. They are a great way to make beautiful works of art even for those who are not artistic themselves and they can be very relaxing. Just grab some books and some color pencils and before you know it you have a piece you can frame and hang in your bedroom.
Sketch Book – I have a few of these laying around. Some I collected from art class and the many assignments I received from my art teachers. Some I collected as I sat around and in my youth drawing whatever I could build up from my imagination. Keeping an art sketchbook or journal can have the same effects as keeping a diary. You can draw what you feel, the possibilities are endless.
Draw Outside – Outdoors, who doesn’t love to sit outside and relax as the breeze passes through their hair on the porch. Or as you sit down at the beach watching the children run through the waves. Drawing outside gives you a way to get inspired by the scenery. Not only can you find something to draw or paint but being in the air can help you relax and forget about your troubles for the moment.
Make Stuffed Animals – Not only can making your own stuffed animals help keep you busy and get your mind off of daily stresses, having the stuffed animal itself can help relieve your stress. How you may ask? You may have heard how having a pet is actually good for depression and stress. Cuddling with a stuffed animal can have the similar effects as a real pet. Not to mention you can make them for your children.
Paint to Music – Listening to certain music has the benefits of being relaxing all on its own. Slower tempo music can relax your muscles, quiet your mind, and give you a soothing sensation and de-stress your day. So adding music to a hobby like painting allows you to concentrate on the activity and relax your mind.
Finger Paint – I know what you are thinking, I did that in Kindergarten! This simple technique is a very effective way to reduce stress. You can express yourself in any way you desire. It is not about making a masterpiece but about allowing your fingers to flow across the canvas carefree without any worries about which tools to use. Finger painting can be a great way to bond with your children. When the children get bored, pull out the sheets and the paint and turn it into a family therapy session, hehe!
Start a Garden – Gardening has many benefits and is a great form of exercise that helps you lose weight. Besides weight loss, it has been proven to reduce stress, lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol, and decrease depression.
Gardening is a form of art because it allows you to express your own designs as you plant and place flowers, trees, rocks, and such where you desire. It is a relaxing task because you are out in the open air breathing in different smells, enjoying all the wonderful colors, and listening to all the sounds of nature. Plus it gives you the opportunity to grow your own fresh fruits and vegetables that you can choose and eat yourself.
Does Art Reduce Stress? Yes! Art, like many hobbies, gives us an escape from our daily stresses by providing relaxation and distraction. You don’t have to be Michelangelo to make art because anything you create is your art. Just find what is right for you and go for it.
So, do you like to use art as an escape?
If you use art as a way to de-stress I would love to hear about it below. If you have any other questions about the above post or want to provide feedback, don’t hesitate, all are welcome!