Stress Management: When Art Therapy gives you the wings

Stress Management: When Art Therapy gives you the wings

Writing on Stress is really very old fashioned and something like this is a very heated issue in our daily lives. Everyone knows about it and tries to find out the ways either to cope up with it or to reduce it. But no one is actually able to find an adequate solution to apply or to adopt for sustaining a comfortable daily life without any stress.

Stress is inevitable and pervasive as we live in a jet-set life where everyone is so busy with their lifestyle. From the day we are born till the we die; one thing which is very common for all of us is nothing but stress. Yes it is the brutal truth, that stress is everywhere and we cannot completely avoid it that’s why we need to learn only how to stay manage it.  For living a good quality life we need to deal with stress smartly and smoothly. As stress is natural and obvious we need to learn how to lead a satisfying life even being stressed.

Once we think rationally with a composed mindset we will observe that most of our prominent stresses exist because of the unnecessary or haphazard standard of living and due to our incapability to organize ourselves for the daily performance mindfully.

Art can act as a stress buster; the role of art is to give a scope for expressing inner desires and relieve stress in an artistic or creative form depending on the interests and capacity of the concerned person. When a stressed individual is allowed to express in a suitable creative form; it will soothe his/her sense organs and generate pleasant feelings which keep the person away from any stress for several days.

Art as a stress-buster must be applied in a way that it aligns with the comfort level and aptitude of the concerned individual. Art in any form like painting, bodily movements (such as dance, gymnastics, etc), line drawing, craft making, comedy or anything like that depending on the individual’s requirement can be used.

An art therapist’s aim is to help the individual to express under their own guidance with the motive of helping the person either to come out of stress or cope up with the same. They require a good knowledge of psychology as the person suffering from stress needs to be treated under appropriate guidance, screened for other co- morbidities and also of art as the colour choices, the picture and the position of the drawn objects matter a lot.

For example:

  1. Most of the people under stress draw a range of mountains; instead of a sharp edges the peek of the mountains should to be rounded  as anything sharp in the drawing analysis represents aggression and stress. The person under stress needs to be calmed down so he/she must be instructed to draw rounded objects which represents affability and sociability. That’s why drawn objects need to have rounded edges instead of sharp ones.
  2. Sky blue or ocean blue always invites freshness to the eyes of the beholder so painting background generally needs to be sky blue for reducing stress.

Craft making

reduces motor restlessness as it requires movement of fingers of the palm and other body parts as well. It also reduces anger and hence, it can be used as one of the tools in anger management.

Tamed Body Movements

help our mind and body to coordinate with each other and work effectively. It also improves attention and regulates breathing. When a person is under stress or shows hyperactivity because of stress or if there is an individual who regularly faces a compulsion and gets impatient to keep her/himself busy with future planning must be involved in such creative tamed movement. Therapist should suggest proper body postures and practices (like physical exercises, yoga) for reducing restlessness and increasing patience by getting them involved in the learning process step by step.

Rhythm and steps:

Following the instructions in steps is the fundamental method to learn something. Practising dance and growing with it always brings a great feeling of relaxation and satisfaction. So people having motor restlessness or muscling assertiveness (such as fist fighting) can happily orient themselves by practising rhythmic arts like dancing when they are under stress.

With the help of art we can motivate and push people towards the positivity in their life. The life which is filled with freshness, exploration, negotiation and satisfaction. It is possible only when they themselves are concerned enough and agree to work on themselves especially on their belief system to feel better throughout their life.

About the Author

Dr. Rupa Talukdar
Practicing Counselor.

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