Art therapy encourages self-expression and creativity as means to reduce stress, anxiety and to improve self-esteem. While most of the other forms of therapy depend on verbal language to express your feelings and thoughts to help overcome personal obstacles, art therapy allows for more abstract forms of communication. Pablo Picasso once said that “Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” and he couldn’t be more right. You don’t have to be an artist to enjoy all the wonderful benefits of art therapy. Just read on and learn a few art therapy activities to explore your inner talent and creative voice, while turning off the negative influences around you.
1. Design a Postcard You Don’t Intend to Send
This is one the most enjoyable art therapy activities for when you are feeling a little bit down. Give your words extra dimension if you have something to say to someone but you’re not ready to do it yet. For example, if you like someone but you don’t have the courage to confess your feelings to them, if you’re angry at someone but you don’t want to start a conflict, you could use this therapeutic technique. Sometimes letting out all the things that are on your mind can help deflate the issue at hand.
2. Cut and Paste a Collage
Do you have a lot of magazines around the house and you don’t know what to do with them? Just take a pair of scissors, some glue and let your imagination run wild. If you are trying to reach a specific goal or if you seek some encouragement in some particular area, then zero in on images that make you feel happy, positive and that embody your goal and just use them in your collage. This way, you will always be reminded of what you want and you will be motivated to work harder to achieve your goals.
3. Draw in Response to Music
Most people say that music is a form of art that will help you relax in no time, so just try to put a pencil on a piece of paper and move it as the rhythm dictates. A lot of studies have shown that instrumental music is a more effective stress-buster than music with lyrics because your mind is allowed to relax without having any distractions.
4. Bring a Motivational Message to a Colorful Life
Do you have a favorite quote, something that inspires and makes you feel uplifted? Just cut those words out of magazines and make a beautiful collage with them. You can also add words like “joy”, “happy” or “inspire” and use as many colors as you’d like; after all, it should represent you, your dreams, your beliefs and your aspirations.
5. Bedazzle the Box
Almost everyone has a box of memorabilia tucked away somewhere. When you are feeling stressed or a little bit down, you could try to give your treasures a face lift by decorating the box that you usually keep them in. You can decorate it by using elements specific to that time period.
6. Produce a Permission Slip
Before starting this activity, try to think about some personal traits that you see as flaws, about those self-imposed pressures that you feel every day and about those natural slip ups that you see as errors. Then, just choose one of those things and give yourself permission to do just that, but make sure that you do it in ornamental detail. Just keep in mind that it’s an art project, so make it pretty!
7. Create an Affirmation You Can Carry with You
Try to create a thing that you can literally carry with you, like a piece of jewelry, an article of clothing or even a key chain. Just choose words, colors or images that remind you how you would like to feel. If you don’t know how to do it, you could attend a class at a local craft store to learn the technique.
Art therapy is one of the most efficient forms of therapy that can help you reduce stress and negative thinking and that can help you improve your self-esteem. Do you know any other art therapy activities that someone can try at home to de-stress? Please tell us about them in the comments section!