Conveying your artistic side has been found to be therapeutic and studies have shown that it can be very useful to treat a range of mental health conditions, including post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety. In fact, Art Therapy is used to examine psychological and emotional issues for children, adolescents and adults.
You don’t have to be a natural talent either – it’s the process itself that helps with healing, improving self-esteem, relieving stress and coping with illness or disability – not the end result.
For DIY art therapy Riot Art and Craft has a quality range of materials and supplies to choose from. Here are some art mediums you can explore, and the benefits:
Perfect for beginners, experienced artists and just about everyone in between, with the right paints and inks on hand, you can bring your artistic vision to life using a variety of surfaces including canvases and pads. You can use acrylic paints, watercolours, oil, gouache, spray paint; as well as different types of brushes and different strokes. Painting is proven to expand creative growth while enhancing motor skills, problem-solving abilities, improve memory and promote stress relief. It can provide a safe and relaxing form of therapy to explore your creative side – allowing for a more optimistic outlook on life.
Much like painting, drawing has many benefits, however because you're often using more detail than you would with a paintbrush, these benefits can increase dramatically. Drawing as art therapy improves your memory and communication skills – if you can’t express your emotions, draw it instead. It's a perfect release for emotions you generally keep hidden, and it helps to promote stress relief as well.
Whether its needlework or woodwork, quilting or sculpting, or designing your own unique wall hangings with pom poms and glue, crafting is also beneficial for your overall health. Studies have been done on the benefits of knitting and quilting in particular, with results finding those who took up these crafts were challenged more, and found the experience to be uplifting and a great builder of self-esteem. Textile crafts were also found to improve the well-being of people living with chronic fatigue, depression and other health issues.
Collage is a great way to open the mind to something different– it’s easy to do and is just about creating art that matters to you. It could be as simple as cutting out and gluing images to a page, or you might want to add in some other accessories to your design. Either way, with collage the options are limited only to your creative mind. Collage has been found to give you a newfound view of your inner self, providing a symbolic release of emotions and moods, and allows you to accept your most authentic self. It helps you to understand and organise so that you can get in tune with your self-expression.
Arts and crafts are not only a lot of fun, but they’re also good for your mental wellbeing; and keep in mind - it’s never too late to start a new hobby.