What is Art Therapy?
Psychology Today describes art therapy as “the use of creative techniques such as drawing, painting, collage, coloring, or sculpting to help someone express themselves artistically and examine the psychological and emotional undertones in their art.”
Although art therapy can be a technique used as a form of counseling from therapist to patient, it can also benefit your everyday living.
You do not have to see a professional therapist to reap the benefits of art therapy. You can try some art therapy activities anywhere, such as your own home, a venue that hosts parties, or even with a group or a club you’re a member of.
Different Types of Art Therapy Activities
You can take art therapy in numerous forms. It can be anything from painting, scrapbooking, sculpting, pottery (clay), and even coloring in a coloring book (There are coloring books out there for adults, in case you don’t know that). Whichever activity you wish to go with, know that you can make your art project look however you want it to. You have control of it.
As to why you should consider art therapy, it does have some perks, and you can learn a lot while working on a creative art therapy project.
Benefits of Art Therapy
Art therapy is beneficial in various ways in which you can use it to your advantage when you’re feeling stressed, overwhelmed, or even depressed. Doing a form of artwork can help keep you busy mentally and physically (depending on the type of artwork you’re doing). So with that being said, let’s look at how art therapy can be impactful and beneficial to you.
1. It’s Very Relaxing
The relaxing effects that art therapy has can be impactful to your well-being.
I know this because it’s what I usually do when I’m feeling some stress or anxiety. I would get out my sketch pad or a canvas board and do some sketches or abstract paintings as a way to relax and put my mind at ease.
Speaking of stress and anxiety, I started seeing a therapist when I was fifteen because I was going through some depression, and with the depression, I always felt stress and anxiety were in the mix. So, there would be times that my therapist would get out a box of pottery, and we would talk about my issues while I used my hands to make a cup out of clay. Those few sessions where we played with pottery also gave me advice on doing other artwork while at home to relax and put my mind at ease.
Her advice gave me some insight into how I can do arts and crafts to benefit my well-being while I feel anxious or overwhelmed. So if you feel like you’re under some pressure or need a breather, try reaping the benefits of art therapy. You don’t even have to have experience with it. Just think of something artistic and crafty that you want to try and do it.
Another thing to keep in mind is that once you get yourself engrossed in an art project of some sort, you’ll not only find yourself at ease, you’ll also find yourself getting a genuine rest and enjoying your downtime with the fun you’re having with your artwork in progress.
2. It Can Help Make You More Productive
Well, when you’re in the process of completing an arts and crafts project, you’re keeping yourself busy and staying focused on your current art task at hand. With this productivity, you are also prompted to think about things you want to think about (at least that’s what I do when I’m doing an art project).
While completing your arts and crafts, you can think about future goals you want to accomplish, such as going on a vacation, trying to cook a new recipe you stumbled upon on Pinterest, or even trying a new hobby. No matter what it is, it’s helping you stay productive, and it shows that the therapy you’re receiving is having an impact on you.
3. It Can Spark Creativity
Another silver lining of art therapy activities is a spark of creativity.
When you’re working on your art project, you want it to look like you envision it. Sometimes, the way you want it to look changes because you have another idea of how you want your piece of work to turn out.
I have had this happen to me before.
When I was a junior in high school, my art teacher wanted the class to do a painting that symbolized Asian art. I remember seeing a lot of Asian art that was scenic paintings. When she said to paint something scenic on a rectangular piece of cardboard paper, I asked her if I could have three more because I had an idea to call my assignment “The Four Seasons.” She was skeptical of it at first because she didn’t want to waste any paper, but I assured her that it would be put to practical use.
When my assignment was completed at the end of that week, I got an A+, and my art teacher wanted me to use that painting as one of my pieces of work displayed in the annual student art gallery for an art show we had at the end of the fall semester.
So if you’re working on a project and you have a creative idea come to you in the process of working on your piece of art, consider it and think about trying it because if you do, your piece of art can turn out better than what you expected it to be.
4. It Can Clear Your Mind
It’s a no-brainer that arts and crafts can be fun.
So when you’re working on something fun, you get so caught up in it to where you’re not thinking about anything. When you don’t think about anything except keeping your hands busy with your project, you’re clearing your mind.
That’s a good thing to do if you feel like you have too much going on that you want to chill.
I will often play music when I’m painting, sketching, or coloring in a coloring book. Playing music while being crafty helps me clear my mind every time, and it’s also very soothing. So if you think you might need help in clearing your mind in the process of working on your art project, try playing some of your favorite music.
If you ever want to try anything in art therapy to clear your mind, playing music in the background or even with some headphones feels good to hear while participating in any art therapy activities.
5. It Can Give You Ideas For Future Projects
When you almost complete your art project, you can develop more arts and crafts ideas to try in the future.
Once you complete your art project, you may want to do it again, or you can do something different that you probably thought of that can be put together with the previous work.
Art is so therapeutic and fun at the same time, and if you enjoy it, you can try it with a group of friends and family.
You can even try throwing an art-themed party. You can get some canvas boards and paint at your local arts and crafts store like Hobby Lobby or Michael’s and do a paint party. You can get some flower pots and paint them together. You can also have a party where you and your guests paint something in a particular category, like your ideal dream place or even something that represents yourself.
No matter what you want to try for future projects, remember to reap the benefits of art therapy and enjoy yourself when you do.
Conclusion for Benefits of Art Therapy
This concludes the impactful benefits of art therapy. There are a variety of art therapy activities to try that can be fun and therapeutic when you want to try something new or need to do something to rest and relax.
Art therapy is fun, and if you want to do something creative and be able to chill simultaneously, consider getting busy with some arts and crafts. Also, if any of you have any thoughts on art therapy or have something you want to mention, feel free to leave a comment.
Check out some of my artwork below
Related Article for Benefits of Art Therapy
The link below is from a fellow blogger I follow, Miranda Balogh. She’s an art blogger and a very skilled artist who also teaches art. I highly recommend checking out her blog, and she gives all sorts of tips and info for painting, drawing, and sketching.