How to Relieve Stress by Creating Art

Maybe as a kid, many of us used to carefreely doodle everywhere showed no mercy to the white walls of our rooms.

Nowadays, as adults, leisure time is not something we can have and enjoy so simply, and doodling, drawing, or other artistic activities do not fit into our schedules.

However, stress, anxiety, and psychological fatigue are all accumulating and hanging above our heads like the sword of Damocles.

We need to rest and reinvigorate not only our bodies but also our minds and enjoy life. For that, we have to learn how to cope with stress and relieve pent-up pressure. And art might be just the perfect tool for that.

Ways in which creating art helps relieving stress

If you googled this before, you probably came across many studies detailing the benefits of art and creativity on how we experience stress.

Most of the studies out there highlight how art-making can lower stress hormones and promote the production of dopamine, known as the “feel-good” hormone.

So if you are looking for ways of relaxing and boosting your dopamine level, science has already proven that making art will do the job, even though you do not have refined artistic skills.

You might notice that making art will help you feel less stressed because:

  • art helps you take your mind off stressful thoughts by achieving a state of focus and flow
  • it can help you reconnect with emotions neglected due to lack of free time and relaxation
  • you can express yourself through your art pieces and understand yourself better
  • the effect of stress relief doesn’t depend on your skills in making art, so you should experience no pressure when it comes to the outcome of your art-making

No one is too busy for making art

When I say “making art,” I don’t mean a never-until-now-seen piece of art that deserves to be exposed in an art museum or exhibition.

Making art can mean simple things like sketching, doodling, or just making a collage of photos in your precious album.

Embroidery and sewing work as well if that suits you better, but the idea is to take some time as often as you can and do something that engages your creative side (we all have one).

You will notice that becoming immersed in creating art will also help deal with the stress and anxiety you experience daily.

If you are not too good at finding the intrinsic motivation to do art, taking art classes can solve that problem by providing a time and hour in your schedule to focus only on making art.

Creative activities you can try

In case you are short on ideas of what you can do to relax, I thought of these suggestions hoping they will be helpful.

Mandalas - these coloring books for adults with intricate patterns are an excellent option for destressing.

They have become quite popular and affordable, but you don’t necessarily need to purchase a mandala book. Experiment with symbols and patterns and create a mandala yourself.

Doodling - I may have mentioned this before, but 20 minutes of doodling can have an amazing effect on your mood.

You can doodle anything that crosses your mind; you can even carry a sketchbook around and use it when you feel anxious, uneasy, or just inspired.

Collages - are a great way of combining elements you like from magazines or pictures and your drawings and sketches. Collages allow you to play with the composition of your art piece and tell a story or illustrate an idea or emotion without needing advanced drawing skills.

Drawing challenges - you can keep yourself motivated to draw something daily, or at least more often, by doing a drawing challenge. The bonus is that drawing challenges like Inktober on Instagram will also give you a concept or idea for each day of the challenge, making the process easier and inspiring.