Art is a powerful and therapeutic stress-reliever

“Art washes from the soul the dust of everyday life.” — Pablo Picasso

By Olya Podorozhko

Staff Writer

Where does our stress come from?

Do we ever ask ourselves the question, “Why am I so stressed, and what can I do to make it go away?”

We experience stress and anxiety in our lives often as students constantly dealing with schoolwork, financial aid, meeting deadlines and taking difficult tests for which we spend copious hours preparing.

Those are only some of the issues that tend to lead to stress, not including major life changes, financial struggles, work environment, personal relationships and the list goes on.

Stress seems unescapable and unavoidable, however, it is a part of our life, and although dealing with stress may be extremely challenging, it’s best for us to learn how to manage stress in a healthier manner.

Stress is produced from a hormone in your body called cortisol. According to psychologists, the cortisol levels decrease significantly when your brain is busy with focusing on your sensory perception.

When being stressed, it may feel as if a burden is taking a toll on us, by negatively affecting our health, mood and relationships.

For example, stress can cause emotional distress, fatigue and depression.

Even if you are dealing with some personal life problems, positive or negative, they can also add on to your stress, which can escalate and lead to serious health issues.

Although many turn to doctors for help, studies have shown that an alternative solution to stress alleviation, complimentary to medicine, is called natural stress relief. In other words: creating art.

I know I go through constant stress all the time and try to find peace in my mind, even in the most stressful situations by doing a variety of things that help me cope with it.

Art is one of them, and let me tell you, it’s an extremely effective stress-reliever among many other fun and beneficial activities that can take your mind off of problems.

Many times I find myself drawing or painting while listening to music that fits the mood I’m in, and it sets the tone for the kind of art I want to create.

Music and art play a huge role in my life, and I can’t imagine how sad and colorless life would be without it; together they work hand in hand, bringing me joy.

I know not everyone is great at art, but by choosing this alternative we don’t have to be an artist to create and de-stress.

Just try this: Get a piece of blank paper, a canvas and a few colors of acrylic paint.

It’s easier painting on a blank canvas with acrylic paint because you can paint over it and cover your mistakes, but make sure to always start with the lighter colors.

Try closing your eyes and imagine something you want to put on paper, maybe a dream that you have or an image of something you have in mind.

It can be abstract, meaning it doesn’t have to be perfect or represent anything in particular, as long as it comes from your heart and your creative imagination.

Painting, sketching and drawing can be very relaxing and therapeutic.

It is often compared to being in a state of meditation, which brings a sense of relief to the mind while focusing on only what is in front of you.

Another great way in expressing your creativity and reducing stress are adult coloring books, which you can find pretty much anywhere since they have become so popular and are considered to be very effective as well.

All you need are some colored pencils and your imagination. I recommend looking on amazon.com for a variety of inexpensive options or even Googling free images, printing them out and coloring them in yourself.

Now that I gave you a tip on getting our minds out of trouble, most of all I hope this was an inspiration, and a useful alternative for stress relief, it’s your turn to expand your inner and creative self.

As well as interwinding your mind with your body, in a way that you never thought was possible, and most of all relax.

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