While our mind sometimes fails to communicate properly, the heart never does. Through our imagination, the heart finds a way to effortlessly convey our emotions, often leaving an everlasting impression. On the other hand, creative endeavours are also a medium for self-healing. This is perhaps why simple things like writing, painting and sculpting can serve as excellent coping mechanisms.
Art therapy is a type of psychological therapy that use various artistic media to help people explore their thoughts and emotions in a unique way. In this therapy, art is used as a primary means of communication, which can be incredibly useful for those who find it difficult to express themselves. Art therapy can be beneficial to anyone, from young children to the elderly, and to those with mental health issues as well. It can be revitalising and often a stress buster. While there is always the option to pick up a brush and paint a canvas to keep your mind away from issues, there are many other ways to express yourself. Take a look!
Using crayons or chalk allows you to blend and create unique effects. The activity may also instil happy memories, as it can be a reminder of your childhood. Experiment with vivid colours for unique effects and bright patterns.
Sculpting 3D models helps bring emotions to life. Sculpting can be done with clay or a range of other pliable materials. If bright hues are too stimulating, try working with more muted colours.
Drawing simple things that come to mind can be quite relaxing. You can also add colours by experimenting with different shades of pens and pencils. Doodling is also a good way to explore your creative side!
Sometimes the simplicity of just clicking pictures is more appealing than drawing or painting. You can capture anything, from things you find beautiful or what you wish you could change, to pictures of friends and family. And with all the technical information available online nowadays, learning different photographic techniques is never more than a few clicks away!
Art from Objects
Creating a piece of art with objects you have found or collected over time is a unique form of therapy. Turning those objects into a sculpture, a decorative item or simply framing them are a few examples. Try experimenting with flower pressings as well.
Create an Art Journal
Many find journaling quite therapeutic. But maintaining a visual journal can be even more comforting. Drawing or scribbling about how you’re feeling everyday will help you keep in touch with your feelings.
Make a Mandala
A mandala is a circular meditative symbol. You can create your own mandala by drawing directly on paper. Take a look at some examples for ideas. You can use them as something to meditate on, or frame and hang on your wall when you need a moment of calm.
Draw a Portrait
Drawing portraits of others is common within art therapy. Not just portraits of others, you can also imagine another version of yourself and give it a try.
Paint in the Dark
What’s exciting about painting in the dark is the element of surprise. Not knowing how your picture will turn out can be extremely liberating. Painting in the dark allows you to paint from the heart, and when the lights go on, you’re bound to have a wonderful moment.
Draw in the Sand
Did you know that Japanese Zen gardens incorporate patterns in the sand because they are considered therapeutic? Drawing shapes or creating patterns in the sand with your fingers or some simple tools is a great way to calm yourself.
Draw Something Big
Using your entire body to draw something can help relieve tension. Use different tools and methods for painting on big canvasses until you find something you like. This may reveal something about yourself that you never knew before.
Work on a Group Project
Working in a group can help develop teamwork and communication skills. It also helps to hear other’s experiences, which in turn can help you to think more creatively. -Sumana