Dr. Michael Carson, JD
Professor in the Graduate School of Professional Psychology at the University of Denver
Do you remember sitting with paper and crayons as a child? The freedom to move my fingers across the paper was exhilarating and stress-relieving. As you got older, you started using markers or paints.
Anyway, what we did in childhood remains a dear memory for many. Now that you are an adult, professional and personal problems often prevent you from doing art. But did you know that there is a form of therapy that uses creativity and relieves stress?
Art therapy is used by millions of people to address mental health issues and relieve stress. If you want to know more about art therapy and its benefits, keep reading.
What is art therapy and how does it relieve stress?
Art therapy uses creative activities such as coloring, collage, drawing, painting and sculpture to help people express their emotions.
According to Psychology Today, an art therapist observes and examines works of art for "emotional and psychological connotations." Hidden messages, symbols or metaphors can lead to a breakthrough and understanding of a person's behavior and feelings.
Who uses art therapy?
Art therapy is suitable for children, teenagers and adults who want to use these techniques to deeply explore and analyze mental health issues such as: anxiety, depression, addiction, grief, self-esteem, stress. Art therapy also helps people with self-doubt. Recent research suggests that drawing and writing is beneficial for people with dementia and may help prevent the disease, according to Harvard Medical School.
Dementia patients are not the only ones whose health benefits from the arts. Art therapy is practiced with individuals, groups, or couples in counseling centers, health centers, prisons, senior centers, or orphanages.
It's easy to buy these days get a do-it-yourself painting kit".. Although it is best to work with a therapist or art therapist, you can also deal with stress yourself from the comfort of your own home.
How art therapy relieves stress.
A published study by Kaimal, Ray & Muniz, 2016 focuses on the benefits of art therapy. During 45 minutes of creative work in adults, there was a decrease in cortisol levels. Cortisol is known as a “stress” hormone that regularly increases its levels in the body. According to Psychology Today, cortisol levels rise in dangerous situations, leading to the fight-or-flight response.
The study included adults between the ages of 18 and 59 and used a variety of materials such as paint, clay and felt to create their artwork. Their saliva was tested for cortisol levels before and after the art classes. Questionnaires were also filled out before and after class.
Seventy-five percent of study participants found significant reductions in cortisol levels due to their creativity. In some people, cortisol levels did not change or increase, but this did not affect the appearance of their artwork. Research clearly shows that the creative process has a positive effect on the human psyche, as it allows him to relax.
How does art therapy work?
Art therapy is based on the belief that the creation of works of art has therapeutic value. Art therapists receive special training to "understand color, texture and artistic means" in the therapeutic process.
Therapists learn to recognize how their patients reveal their thoughts, emotions, and psychological problems. Psychotherapy combined with artistic activity helps a person open up to change.
What is paint by numbers?
People fear ridicule when asked to paint a picture, especially if they have never done it before. Therapy helps to eliminate this problem. In the world of art therapy, fun is the key to success because it emphasizes fun and pleasure and relieves stress and anxiety.
Art therapy can also be performed at home, a good solution is a set Paint by Numbers. This is an image on a canvas that is divided into sectors, each of which is marked with a number corresponding to a certain color. A beautiful image is independently created in such a person. Paint by number kits you can buy, they contain paints, brushes, instructions and a canvas with a picture.
How to begin?
Buying a Paint by Numbers kit is currently not a problem. Many companies make them. But our offer is unique. Paint by number kits include everything you need to get started.
Our canvas paintings come in a cardboard tube so you don't have to worry about damaging or crushing the canvas before painting. Our kits include high quality paints and brushes, wall hanging materials and instructions. Visit our online store and choose a paint by number kit.
Now that you understand that painting removes a lot of problems and especially stress, isn't it time to try painting by numbers? If you enjoyed it as a child or teenager, it is likely that the love for this activity has remained with you to this day.