Art therapy involves painting, drawing, collage, sculpting and many such creative approaches to express ourselves when words are not really enough. It can be used to help people reduce work-life stress, emotional difficulties during a serious illness, anxiety disorders, chronic depressions, and so on. It brings around physical, emotional and spiritual care. Studies have found that when a person goes through extreme emotional turmoils which cannot be expressed through words, any form of art can help us to express it.
During these difficult times of COVID-19 crisis, a large proportion of the world population is staying at home. Many have been laid off and many have been put on furlough with a highly uncertain future. Some will eventually start going to work outside their homes while many will continue with their work from home. This, Life has become very monotonous and it becomes very difficult to manage stress sometimes. All that you see are the four walls of your room!! The thought of not going out for a trip or a long drive or meeting your friends and colleagues can be depressing at times. Art therapy can be very helpful to cope with these difficult times.
There is a saying, “There is no right or wrong way to make art”. Many people are afraid to try making art because they think that they are not creative enough. They think unlike others, their artwork will not be able to gather appreciation and encouragement. But the fact is that anyone and everyone can make art. All you need is desire and willpower to pour out your imagination, some- colour pencils, pastels/watercolour paint, brush, water and a paper/flower pot or some clay for sculpting. When you play around with colours on a paper, it slowly reduces your stress and make you feel relaxed. It acts like a healing process. It freshens up your mind and increases focus towards positive thoughts. It connects our senses with the ultimate creativity. You tend to forget everything and just flow with your senses and hands creating a masterpiece. The art that you create is always a masterpiece to you as there is a saying, “Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder”. Thus, it is not always necessary to be a Mr Perfectionist. Sometimes, we need to do things to please ourselves and forget what the audience has got compare our work with.
Art therapy gives you many options like drawing with pastels, painting with watercolour, painting a flower pot, moulding a clay, etc. Each of these approaches have their own benefits. Sometimes too much of stress and depression can lead to destruction. But art therapy helps you to handle it in a creative and non-destructive way. Drawing and painting are just like meditation. They bring out the negative emotions dwelling in your heart and transform them into beautiful art full of positivity. You can also try Mandala art or Warli art which are very satisfying to the eyes. Painting pots and growing plants on them can also deviate your mind from stress. Moulding clay also has similar outcomes. The cool touch of clay and shaping it into a figure can be very soothing. Moulding makes you feel more connected to our mother earth.
Performing arts like dance, vocal, playing an instrument can also be used as a therapy. We will discuss about it some other day. Until then, pick up your painting brushes and some favourite painting colours and vent out your feelings. Express your emotions in the form of art and let your soul cherish the peace and satisfaction. Trust me you will like to give yourself a pat for trying it out.