Art therapy helps people who have experienced traumatic events express themselves and their feelings visually. Art is a form of non-verbal communication. There are many people with problems who find it difficult to express their feelings in words. Maybe because they don’t really know how they feel. They can’t articulate what happened. They are afraid, ashamed, guilty, they don’t understand, or can’t speak about the events that are bothering them. Recording them through a specific art project is a way for them to communicate. It provides useful information and adds to what can be talked about.
Specific based activities can be very helpful. Certain sensory characteristics of making art that we experience through our senses like color, shape, line, texture, and others seem to be good for improving mood. Focusing on the art form has a calming effect on the body and the mind.
Right now we are in the middle of a pandemic. Our social connections have been disrupted. Thankfully we can remain connected to others by the internet and social media. However, too much social media and news watching can produce even more anxiety than what we are already dealing with.
Our young children don’t understand what is happening. Normalcy has flown out the window and they have to stay in. Keeping a daily routine, talking about what is going on, and admitting that even we, as adults, have our own emotional stresses at this time. It is comforting for children to know that they aren’t the only ones feeling things are different. There’s no way to tell what the effects or outcome of this will be for everyone in the future, but having a plan gives children security.
Working with your children at the table in a family setting and providing them with materials that you have on hand can have a great effect. Any creative activity worked on together, whether it is drawing, painting, cooking, baking, making slime, painting faces, and coloring, can soothe away scary thoughts. Having them keep a journal of their days in pictures is a great way to see what they may be feeling.
For adults, I find that doodling and coloring have amazing benefits. They lower your stress level by concentrating on your piece of artwork. All your troublesome thoughts melt away. Every night I try to draw or zentangle or doodle something for about 20 minutes. I don’t have any picture in my mind when I start, I let the picture flow out of me. When I look over my work, I can see clues as to how I am feeling. Sometimes my drawings are simple, easy, my lines are flowing, and the feeling I get looking at the picture is calm. But other times…OMG. The picture is complicated, the lines get heavy and uneven, a bit sloppy and unbalanced. Your picture at the time of drawing it, expresses the way you are feeling in that moment. It can be a real eye opener, and sometimes most definitely, a wake-up call. I know to either cut back, or if I am worrying about something, “Let it go.”
Below, see two of my pictures from last week. Can you tell which one I drew on my better day?
Here is another one of my nightly drawings that I have for a free download for you. Take time for yourself and color!
Click Here for your free Download
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Here’s some calming music to listen to while you color!
Music to color by.
Take a look at my beautiful faces to color here.
My Adult Coloring Books are Available in Print at Amazon.com