How Art and Creativity Can Be Used To Reduce Anxiety and Depression | Guest Post By Jane Sandwood

Recent studies have shown how beneficial art therapy and creativity is for reducing anxiety and depression, giving individuals a chance to find a relaxing method of caring for their mental health. These mental health conditions can make everyday life a bit more challenging, but when there are multiple natural resources and methods for coping with depression symptoms, it becomes easier to manage. Although art and creativity sessions are not meant to fully replace or cure anxiety and depression, these easy and relaxing practices can surely help ease the symptoms.

Different Methods of Art Therapy

With the variety of ways that art therapy can be used, how can one decide on which technique will be best for their specific situation? Not every technique will be the perfect fit for every person, however, are some of the widely used art and creativity therapy techniques that can be used to help reduce anxiety and depression:

  • Writing and Journaling: Expressing one’s feelings out on paper has a great effect on the mind. The individual is able to get their feelings and thoughts out of their mind and onto paper – almost as if they are releasing it. Writing short, creative stories also helps to keep the mind flowing with creativity and open up their thoughts.
  • Drawing and Painting: When drawing and painting, an individual can use their own creativity to create pictures of their very own creation. This gives them confidence and allows the mind to flow freely.
  • Dance: Dancing is a great way to exercise and get the blood flowing in the body. Essentially, this can elevate levels of serotonin and boost those happy feelings and thoughts.

Art therapy is a great way to get creative and release built-up stress and negative feelings. The feelings of stress are greatly reduced by utilizing helpful mindfulness practices, which lead to better mental health overall.

How Art Therapy Truly Helps

There’s no doubt that creativity is good for the soul and genuinely creates passion and happiness. With studies showing that expressive writing and other methods of art therapy giving the individual a chance to overcome trauma and handle their emotions, this is a great way to incorporate the healing of certain traumas. While art therapy is not a complete cure for depression and anxiety, it is known to help improve psychological health after only a few weeks of practicing these methods. The physical and mental expression through the different techniques of art therapy boosts cognitive thinking and improves the overall mood – ultimately, releasing negative emotions and feelings of stress. Simple methods, such as writing and music, are also known to help improve memory and release stress as well. There is no limit to how beneficial art therapy and creativity can be to those with anxiety and depression. And while it can’t replace regular therapy and medical sessions, art therapy is a great, natural way to reduce overwhelming thoughts and feelings of stress, while improving the person’s mental well-being and overall memory.