We’ve previously looked at the positive impact of exercise and meditation on stress and how they can help to alleviate anxiety. Another coping mechanism for anxiety and stress is through creativity.
Having a creative outlet is an important way in which our minds process stressful circumstances or events, and work through our feelings.
Studies have found that putting your thoughts and feelings around a stressful or anxiety inducing event down on paper may help to reduce the effects. Creating art has been shown to decrease stress in 75% of people in a recent study.
Your creative outlet, however, could take many forms and there is an outlet for everyone. It should be stressed though that the quality of what you do is not important, but the act of doing it. If you feel you have no skill as a painter, but enjoy the process, do it anyway! Skill, talent and quality of the artwork have no impact on the stress relieving effects.
Painting, sculpting, writing, playing music and dancing are all creative outputs which you could explore to relieve stress. Next time you’re feeling stressed, try writing a poem or a short story (even if it’s only a page long). It doesn’t need to be fictional, but perhaps a journal may be a good project to take on to help with daily stress.
Colouring books for adults have recently seen a surge in popularity, as people try to escape from daily stresses with the therapeutic feeling of colouring. This is a great alternative for anyone who finds art therapeutic but lacks inspiration, or the ability to draw.
Try sewing or knitting – there are endless options to express your creativity.
Whatever your outlet, creativity is an important mental and emotional outlet and should not be ignored. Find one that you enjoy and it may help to soothe stress and anxiety.