Expressive art (also known as art therapy) uses art as a medium for self-expression and exploration. It is a way for individuals to manage their emotions, thoughts, and experiences in a safe and supportive environment and can be highly beneficial for our mental health.
In fact, research has shown expressive art can help to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression associated with psychological trauma. It can also help to improve self-esteem, confidence and a sense of control.
In this article we explore some of the key benefits to trying expressive therapy and different ways to you can explore it to support your wellbeing.
What are the benefits of doing expressive art for your mental health?
There are many benefits to using art as therapy for our mental health. It allows people to express themselves in a way that is non-verbal which can be useful for those who struggle to put their feelings into words, as it provides an outlet for their emotions. This can be highly beneficial for individuals who have experienced difficult traumas and are struggling to communicate how they feel.
By creating art through expressive therapy, you can explore thoughts, emotions and feelings in an imaginative and unstructured way, which some people find freeing in contrast to a traditional therapy setting.
Expressive art can also help us to develop coping skills to manage stress and difficult emotions. Why? Because it a great way to relax and unwind. By engaging in the creative process, individuals can take their mind off their stress and worries and focus on the present moment. This can help to reduce feelings of anxiety and improve overall mental health.
5 ways to try using expressive art
- Draw or paint a picture that represents your feelings or emotions
- Write a poem or story that explores your experiences or emotions
- Create a collage using magazine clippings, photos, or other materials
- Engage in play therapy by using toys to act out scenarios or express emotions
- Take a dance or movement class to physically express yourself and improve your mood.
Art therapy is a powerful tool for promoting better mental health. It allows individuals to express their emotions in a non-verbal way, gain a greater understanding of themselves, develop coping skills, and engage in a fun and relaxing activity. If you are looking for a new way to improve your mental health, consider giving expressive art a try.
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