Art, dance, music and creative writing are all forms of personal expression, but did you know these artistic hobbies can also be use as stress management techniques? Mental health professionals often combine expressive therapies with traditional psychotherapy to help people communicate their thoughts and feelings. Not only can these creative processes contribute to stress relief, they can ease anxiety and depression.
One of the most effective tools in mental health treatment is art therapy. This involves painting or sketching images to represent emotions. If you want to use artwork to cope with stress, a therapist can guide you through interpreting your designs. Every professional uses unique evaluation techniques, and a New York City psychologist may take a different angle than a counselor based in a more rural setting.
Art therapy is frequently used with children and the elderly, but anyone can benefit from it. When creating a piece of art, you become engaged in the task at hand, which temporarily distracts you from whatever is causing your misery. Slipping into an almost meditative zone will clear your mind as well. Once you wander back into the turmoil of life, you’ll be refreshed and ready to battle the distress demons.
Musical Expression and Creative Movement
Dance and music therapy are also common methods for relieving stress. Through the art of dance, you can use the intricacies of movement to portray your innermost thoughts, and you don’t have to don a tutu or find a stage and spotlight to do so. Dancing helps you process and face your emotional state, but it also helps alleviate the physical pain and tension associated with stress.
Music therapy is a more complex practice for improving mental and physical health. Melodious sounds can stimulate and awaken the mind. This is why playing instruments, singing, participating in rhythmic drumming or simply listening to your favorite tune can heal your mental wounds. Music also causes positive changes in heart rate, blood pressure, breathing and hormone levels, which ultimately promotes well-being.
Life in Print
Like the other creative arts, journaling is also used as a means of self-exploration. Anxieties, concerns and fears can crush the psyche, but recording your thoughts may help you release suppressed emotions. Writing is a self-protective way to work through daily difficulties. In addition to the other advantages of expressive therapy, keeping a journal can help you discover the core of your stress and define long-term solutions.
Each type of expressive arts therapy is a stepping-stone to healing. Tapping into your creative side can be exciting, and the side effects are empowering. If you have trouble verbalizing your thoughts, contact us or check out our homepage. We can help you use artistic therapies as stress management techniques so that you can regain control of your emotions.