Four Ways to Use Art to Create a Peaceful Mindset So You Can Manage The Challenges Life Throws At You
You may not think about mental wellness and stress management when you're perusing the work of your favorite artists.
But according to the Mental Health Foundation, getting involved with the arts can have powerful and lasting effects on health and can protect against a range of mental health conditions, as well as contribute to an overall sense of well being.
Think about the experience you have when you are taking in art. What do you feel? Do you feel empowered? Uplifted? These are some of the benefits of art and how it can foster your well-being and feelings of peace.
Why is peace important? In this day and age, it can be difficult to find. 2020 alone, with the COVID-19 pandemic, racial tensions boiling, and political unrest have left many of us feeling burned out, anxious, and stressed. What's more is the isolation from the pandemic has prevented us from engaging in the usual activities we partake in to unwind.
Depending on your lifestyle, the ability to create an inner calm world can be vital to your success. You could be starting a business while juggling kids. You could be in school preparing for your future. Or maybe you work in a fast-paced business environment with a demanding boss and challenging coworkers that leaves you feeling burned out at the end of the day.
You can't accomplish your goals when you are stressed and frazzled. Stress may interfere with your concentration leaving you too tired to do anything. Art can make a big difference in helping you generate a sense of peace. Here are a few ways you can utilize art as a tool to relax and take care of your mental health:
Art therapy, facilitated by an art therapist, integrates creative expression and art making with therapeutic modalities to engage the mind, body, and spirit in creative activities that can center you and help you navigate difficult emotions. Art therapists are trained psychological professionals that apply kinesthetic, sensory, perceptual, and symbolic creative activities to facilitate expressive communication that goes beyond words.
Art Therapy Resources, an organization committed to increasing access to quality art therapists maintains an active repository of art exercises. Visit https://arttherapyresources.com.au/ to learn more.
Take an Art Class
Learning a new creative skill will help you carve out dedicated time for relaxation and help you take your mind off things. Taking an art class will regularly engage you in creative expression that challenges you to shift your mind away from stress while you are focusing on the mastery of a new skill. Check your local arts center community board or Michael's store to learn what art classes are available to you. You can choose to partake in classes ranging from knitting or learning a new instrument to drawing and painting.
Start a Creative Arts Project
"Creativity in and of itself is important for remaining healthy, remaining connected to yourself and connected to the world," says Christianne Strang, a professor of neuroscience at the University of Alabama Birmingham and the former president of the American Art Therapy Association. When you make art, be it drawing, painting, collating, sculpting, you are stimulating your brain centers to lower stress, invoke hope, and increase focus.
Life Hack, a website with tips and tools for winning at life, lists 20 creative art project you can use to de stress here: 20 Art Therapy Activities You Can Try At Home To Destress
Some activities you may want to try include:
- developing a postcard
- journaling and much more
BAPart prints are also available as journals. Visit here to pick up a journal to begin your creative writing journey.
Surround Yourself With Art That Gives Back To You
Art comes in many forms, including visual art, music, books, textiles, you name it. The question is what type of art inspires you the most. If you're into music, make a playlist of soothing and uplifting songs that inspire you and listen to it daily. Into sculptures, take a drive around your city and observe local artists work. or take a trip to the museum to get inspired and release some tension.
Filling your home with visual art that makes you feel peaceful and meditative can create a physical environment that is calming to you.
For therapeutic visual art, peruse the BAPart Catalog. Some BAPart patrons have referred to the BAPart catalog as Therapy Art. It's no coincidence that as the owner of BAPart, I have participated in art therapy classes that have culminated into lessons learned that I infuse into my body of work. The lessons learned during my experience with art therapy are captured in each of my pieces. I decided to start selling my work, because I hope that sharing my breakthroughs might help other people gain insight to foster their own breakthroughs.