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Art Therapy To Relieve Stress

As I’ve gotten older, I use art therapy to relieve stress. It’s my favorite way to
chill and decompress. Ever since I can remember, I’ve had a crayon, paintbrush,
or pencil in my hand making all kinds of art.

Whenever I need to destress, relieve anxiety, or just escape to a quiet place, I pull out my paints, brushes, and a blank canvas and create. I couldn’t tell you which one is my favorite because I love them all! You can see some of my art below. I hope it will inspire you to create something special.

Stress affects young and old alike in myriad ways. It can result in anxiety, feelings of overwhelm, sadness, depression, exhaustion, burnout, headache, fatigue, change in sex drive, a weakened immune system, and sleep issues, just to name a few.

Taking the time to make art is a great way to show self-love and relieve the symptoms of stress you are feeling. Art therapy reduces cortisol (stress hormone), increases dopamine levels, and helps you learn new ways to express how you are feeling..

Watercolor Paintings

Watercolors are very soothing. They’re very easy to use in a variety of settings – in the car, hiking, at the kitchen table, or curled up in your favorite chair. You can dilute them with more water for soft, subdued creations or full strength for a vibrant image.

Acrylic Paintings

I use acrylic paints when I have a project I want to complete quickly. I paint with acrylics when creating holiday-themed art, seascapes, and fantasy art. The paints dry faster so the painting is ready in a day or two instead of a month.

Digital Art

In the last couple of years, I’ve added digital art to my art tool bag. I really enjoy the versatility of the programs I use. You can upload images created with another medium to fine-tune or add a special effect. You can tap the screen with two fingers if you make a mistake or don’t like the way it turned out.

My digital art is featured in my upcoming book 25 Fantastical Ways To Deal With Stress In A Modern World.

Oil Paintings

Oil paints are smooth and when I mix the colors, it feels like cutting through soft butter. I use oils for a lot of my landscape and seascape projects. Before you clean up, you can use the leftover paint on your palette to create beautiful abstract paintings like the one below.

Pencil & Ink Drawings

Drawing in black and white is very difficult for me. Sometimes I feel that creating with just two contrasting colors short-circuits my brain. I see everything in my mind in full color, so I’ve really had to work on this medium of expression. 

Ten Ways to Reduce Stress and Anxiety Through Art Therapy

1.   Painting

2.   Keep sketchbooks

3.   Drawing and doodling

4.   Coloring and coloring books

5.   Art Journaling

6.   Photography

7.   Pottery and ceramics

8.   Create Mandalas

9.   Scrapbooking

10.  Sculpting

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