Painting for Stress Management
Even the most relaxed people can suffer from periods of stress. Whether it’s, tight deadlines at work, constant notifications on your smartphones, traffic jams, family issues, or exams; there is always a reason for stress to creep in. While some people can handle the extra stress, some of us cannot. If left uncared for, stress can even manifest into physical pain. You may suffer headaches from the constant bombardment of work, or develop stomach aches because of irregular eating habits. It is critical to try and deal with moments of stress before they escalate into more serious problems. Luckily, managing stress is possible! Learning how to set aside some extra time to de-stress may take up more time – but it will be better in the long-run.
There are many techniques for learning how to deal with stress. Recently, more people have been turning to Art Therapy as a means to reduce stress. Art Therapists recommend using color, texture and different types of artistic mediums as a method to eliminate stress¹. Try getting started with something like painting or drawing. You don’t need a lot of supplies, and you can easily do it at your home. The secret to art therapy isn’t the finished result, but rather the process to get there. While coloring or painting, you can slip into a very meditative state. Focused on your actions on the page – rather than the thoughts in your mind. The simple release from your negative thoughts may be enough to find momentary relief from your stress. If you feel like you aren’t the most creative person, you can even find adult coloring books. It might sound like a strange idea, but it gives you something to work with, and allows you to disconnect through the calming action of coloring.
If you want to step it up a little bit, you can get yourself some small canvases and begin to play on those. Canvases have the added benefit of allowing you to add texture. You can make your artwork heavy and rich, or soft and light – each producing a different feeling for the painter.
Another great thing about painting or drawing is that you can do it either solitarily or with friends or your children. You can take a walk with your kids, for instance, and find something outdoors to paint together. Stress can make you feel very isolated, and trapped inside your own mind, so it might feel nice to share your activity with others. Also, if any holidays are coming up, you can make some handmade cards with friends! While it may seem like an excuse to see people, it can be the perfect way to kick your blues. If you don’t have too many friends that are interested in painting and drawing, you can always look for other groups of people who are doing it. You can look into what’s happening at a local community center or search for a paint night.
Paint nights have become quite trendy recently. Basically, you can find paint nights happening across a multitude of venues in most major cities. Usually, the event involves creating a painting while enjoying a cocktail with new people or old friends. You can find paint nights in the least traditional places, there is even a fitness center that has recently started offering paint and sip nights. You don’t need to know anybody to attend an event. If you want to go alone and meet some new people, you can join one of their public events. However, they also offer private events if you prefer something more intimate. At FinerStudio, they offer a 2-3 hour session with a local artist as your guide, and they provide all of the materials. You get to make a nice painting and enjoy a nice glass of wine – or two.
Paint nights offer an opportunity to take yourself out of isolation, meet some new people and socialize. Additionally, painting reducing stress for a few hours. You also take home whatever you paint, which can be a happy reminder to you for the next time you feel overwhelmed by stress. It’s important to focus on your feelings of stress as they arise in your life; rather than letting things bubble over to a place where you feel out of control. Next time you are feeling like everything is compounding in your life, grab a friend, a glass of wine, and make some art! Might be just the trick.