Escape Your Stress Through Art

Creating art comes easily when we are children but as we grow older things like self-criticism, the need to be skilled at every hobby, or the view that art is childish, stops many adults from utilizing the benefits that come from creating art. 

Life as an adult is full of stress, anxiety, and complex emotions that can build up over time. People who have difficulty expressing their emotions verbally can have a hard time finding healthy outlets for emotional release. Studies have found that viewing or creating art can have a great impact on improving mental health for adults through its methods of self-expression, escapism, and release of stress and anxiety. 

When viewing art, the brain’s analysis of the art stimulates questions about the meaning of the piece and the emotions/experiences of the artist that led to its creation. Through this experience the brain focuses solely on the piece and the artist, letting the person take a break from the stress and worries of everyday life. When consistently done over time, viewing art can create a sensory, emotional, or spiritual experience for the viewer that can be used as a form of escapism. This experience can be shared and discussed with others and can induce a sense of community and belonging. 

Creating art seems daunting but it is believed that everyone is capable of being creative, many just need to find the medium they find enjoyable. There are many art mediums to choose from like dancing, cooking, drama, music, painting, pottery, woodworking, architecture, literature, and more. Using mediums such as woodworking, action painting, and clay can allow anger, stress, and aggression to be utilized and released as a tool in creating pieces. Painting and dancing can be used as non-verbal outlets to express emotions while also letting the brain fall into a Zen state of mind. No matter the medium, creating art to improve mental health isn’t about perfection, it’s a gift to your heart and mind to release what has been weighing them down. 

The process and effort that goes into creating art can take time, where along the way you come across problems and difficult decisions. This part of the art-making process improves the brain’s cognitive abilities of focus, memory, and problem solving. Overcoming these issues and finishing the art piece invokes a sense of pride and confidence in yourself that may not be easily found in day-to-day life.  

Most importantly, viewing and creating art whether it be alone or with others is fun and allows new and exciting experiences into your life. It is a chance to step out of your comfort zone and create quality time to reconnect with yourself and your emotions. Whether it be through singing, dancing, jewelry making, digital media, or simply taking photos to appreciate everyday life, art comes in many forms and can be enjoyed by all no matter their skill level. 

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