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5 Therapeutic Artistic Ways To Relieve Stress

Stress is a normal bodily reaction to difficult situations but in our complex society, more and more people are finding that they are suffering from chronic stress whereby they are stressed for the majority of the time, resulting in health issues such as a lack of sleep, headaches and poor diet. Chronic stress is not healthy and for sufferers of it, it’s important that they find a way to unwind and relax. Art may not be able to cure diseases or make stress disappear completely but researchers have acknowledged its therapeutic powers and art therapy is now used to help many people express themselves when they find themselves in a situation that may be hard for them to put into words. Here are 5 therapeutic and artistic ways to relieve stress. 

1. Coloring in
Coloring in used to be an activity exclusively reserved for children, but, thanks to the mindfulness movement that’s no longer the case. In the past few years, we have seen a huge increase in the number of adult coloring books, providing more steady hands with the opportunity to create stunning coloring designs in a variety of different themes from magical mandalas to sensational sea creatures. Or, try some holiday cheer to lift your spirits!

Sometimes, even just sharpening the color pencils themselves can be a pretty stress-relieving activity!

2. Painting
Painting is another great way for people to release tension and manage their stress levels even if they do not consider themselves to be an artist. Painting is also a hobby that needn’t be expensive just a few watercolours or acrylics and a small assortment of brushes from stores such as Brite Crown are all you need along with some old scraps of paper.

With the painting route, you might enjoy using oil or acrylic paints that are thick and opaque. Or, you might like the translucent beauty of watercolors.

3. Keeping a Sketchbook
Keeping a sketchbook is a little like keeping a notebook or a journal and allows the user to get creative on the go using whatever materials they have available to them. Some common ways to use a sketchbook for stress relief include, drawing what you feel, sketching out your dreams, simply coloring in as mentioned above or noting down things that spark gratitude.

There's just so many options with sketchbooks, as you can use a variety of medium from graphite and pencils, to markers and felt-tip pens!

4. Molding Clay
Having something to do with your hands is a great way to relieve stress which is why stress balls became so popular. The tactile nature of clay means that it acts in much the same way as a stress ball, enabling the user to squeeze, pull and press it into any number of shapes. 

And lastly, but certainly not the least...

5. Knitting & Crocheting!
Knitting may be an activity that you associate with the older generation but it is one that is having a huge resurgence, in part, due to sheer pleasure it brings to those who practice it. Knitting acts as a form of meditation, allowing the brain to switch off from other thoughts and focus on the task it is performing at that moment. Because knitting is often repetitive and sustained for a period of time it is a great meditative craft that also gives the knotter an object at the end of it. To get started with knitting all you kneed is a ball of yarn and two knitting needles which can all be purchased very inexpensively online, there are then countless video tutorials to help you get the hang of the basic stitches.

The best way to relieve stress, in my opinion, is to pick an artistic activity and pair it with your absolute, favorite drink!  It could be coffee, hot cocoa, tea, a latte... Doesn't that all just sound so dreamy already?  

My personal favorite is Dandy Blend, which is a caffeine-free coffee substitute.  I've successfully cut out coffee in my diet thanks to this delicious drink that tastes so similar!  Since I'm vegan, I use oatmilk or soymilk as my "creamer", or sometimes I'll indulge in some actual soy-based creamers that make my pseudo-coffee super creamy and yummy.

Now, I'd love to hear from you!

What do you think?
Do you use any of these strategies? (I know that most of you, if you're here for my patterns, are avid crocheters and/or knitters!)
Are there other artistic activities you'd like to explore?
Do you have any other art forms to share, that you engage in to relieve stress?

Share with me in the comments below!