As an online business owner, you're probably cooped up in your house most of the day, and things can get very challenging, stressful, and monotonous.
There are some great ways to relieve stress, with art therapy being one of them. This article discusses what art therapy is, its benefits, and how art and painting can help relieve stress.
What is Art Therapy?
Art therapy combines the creative process of art with psychotherapy. The aim is for any such creative activity to provide self-exploration, understanding, stress relief, and overall improved mental health.
Remember, as long as you find it therapeutic in nature, any activity that involves a creative process can be beneficial for your state of mind. The fact is that the power of art is genuine, particularly when it comes to stress management.
How Art and Painting Can Help Relieve Stress
Now that you know what art therapy is let's look at the benefits and how art and painting can help relieve stress. Remember, we're here to help you as a business owner relieve some of the stress and anxiety plaguing your daily life.
1. It Allows for Emotional Expression
One of the biggest things that cause stress is our emotions. Stress and emotions are very closely related, and you could even say that stress is a type of emotion. So if there are events in your life that are making you sad, angry, or anxious, they’re going to cause stress, which is od for your work life.
One of the most significant benefits of art is that it allows for emotional release and expression. Some people have a tough time putting their emotions in words and find it much easier to paint or draw their feelings.
If you have a hard time expressing yourself, simple painting or drawing could be everything you need. Feeling angry? Get some bright red paints and tell that canvas how you feel!
2. It Stimulates Your Creative Process
Doing art is creative by nature, and when you start doing more art, your creativity will begin to spike. If nothing else, being creative will inspire you to produce some remarkable works of art, and that in itself should help reduce stress and anxiety.
If nothing else, this will make you feel good about yourself, and when you feel good about yourself, you are much less likely to be stressed out. Moreover, most people who do art really like it, or in other words, it’s a fun thing to do, and of course, fun is the antithesis of stress.
3. A New Artistic Experience
The simple act of trying something new can be all you need to relieve some stress. It has been shown that experiencing new things is beneficial for our mental health in more ways than one, and stress relief is one of them.
When our brains experience new things, they forget about stress and anxiety. If you are wrapped up in water painting, something you have never done before, you won’t have the time to think about stress. At the very least, trying new things is fun, and it makes us better people.
Moreover, trying new things helps broaden our horizons and makes people more thoughtful and accepting of others. New experiences and knowledge have the power to provide you with the tools that you need to deal with that stress in your daily life.
4. Overall Mental Health Benefits – Mood Regulation
Art therapy can help relieve stress because it acts as a mood regulator. Art therapy affects the pleasure centers of your brain and causes your brain to release feel-good chemicals, mainly dopamine and serotonin.
This is not unlike a runner’s high when people who exercise feel elated and happy. Art and exercise both affect the pleasure centers of the brain in the same ways. The more of these feel-good chemicals that your brain creates, the better you feel. These chemicals are directly related to stress and anxiety early, as well as mood regulation in general.
In this way, the power of art could be seen as some kind of a drug that makes you feel great without having any adverse side effects. Have you ever heard of any other drug that can do good for you without also doing harm? Art is a side-effect-free drug with endless mental health benefits.
In a study, participants listed 10 of their most considerable worries. They then spent 20 minutes drawing or looking through various art prints. Participants who spent the time drawing reported greater improvement in negative mood symptoms than those who simply looked at art.
5. Looking Inwards and Finding Answers
Art therapy benefits are related to the benefits of meditation. Just like meditation, it is shown that art therapy can make you focus on yourself. It allows you to clear your mind of all distractions and focus inwards. It can help you process emotions and even deal with feelings you didn't even know you had. This kind of self-reflection is a great way to find those difficult answers in your life you have been looking for.
When you find these answers or start to understand yourself in ways you never thought possible, it will help relieve stress. Great mental clarity is directly related to decreased stress and anxiety. When your mind is clear and you can think rationally and reasonably, the chances of being stressed will be far less.
6. If Nothing Else, It’s a Great Distraction
Art can help you relax because it distracts you from your daily life. If you're thinking about the next line you want to draw, the next color you want to paint with, or the next part of the rock you want to sculpt away, you are not thinking about work or any of the things that stress you out.
7. Improving Confidence and Self-Esteem
Another way art can help you relax by improving your confidence and self-esteem. When you see your final product, and it looks good, it's going to make you feel good about what you’ve accomplished. When you feel accomplished, you will feel more motivated to achieve even more. That's what self-esteem is all about.
How Can I Be Creative When Stressed?
When it comes to being creative business-wise, try brainstorming with colleagues, talk things out with many people, and give yourself some time. Sometimes all you need is a bit of time.
Does Stress Kill Creativity?
Various studies have proved that high stress levels lead to lower creativity, and higher creativity leads to less stress.
Are Creative People More Likely to Have Anxiety?
Studies show that artists are generally more anxious than people working in other professions, but it is also shown that these same people are better at coping with challenges.
The bottom line is that art therapy, simple things like drawing and painting, can go a very long way in relieving stress, anxiety, and depression. Hopefully this article will give you some appreciationg for how art and painting can help relieve stress.