Using Creative Outlets to De-Stress Your Life

 

Stress. It comes from all types of different sources and affects us in so many different ways. Whether its school, work, or home lives, they can all add stress to our daily routines, and if it isn't handled in a proper way, it can cause serious, longterm issues to the mind and body.

Stress can cause a number of health related problems including obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease, and even diabetes. It also causes elevated levels of anxiety, a lack of motivation and increased irritability. In extreme cases, it can lead to depression.

Stress was the way I discovered my love for music. I had always been in choirs, but I never realized how much I actually do love music until I picked up a guitar for the first time. But music isn’t the only way to relieve stress. Any type of art therapy has been proven to help relieve stress in a healthy way.

The main reason the arts help to relieve stress is that they cause a distraction from the actual stressor. Getting so lost in the music or in the sketch can take you to a different state of mind. This state of mind is called the “flow.”

The flow is the state right before a meditative state. Writing, sketching, painting, playing an instrument, and all kinds of different things help you get to this state of mind. It gives you all of the good things about meditation. This helps for people who are unsure of how to meditate and clear their minds fully in order to meditate. 

Not only does having a creative outlet help to relieve stress, but it also helps you live a more balanced life. Even just setting aside 10 minutes every day for your favorite creative activity helps your mind get to that meditative state. 

If you want to find a creative outlet, but you don’t know where to begin, here are some simple steps that will get your creative juices flowing:

Keep a sketchbook.

This is something I recently started to keep, thanks to my art class. It is really fun to just look at something and see how well you can recreate it on the page. 

Get a “coloring book for adults.”

This was on of my favorite Christmas gifts this year. The pictures are more intricate than a regular children’s coloring book. It takes time and close attention to get all of the details on the page colored. This is a huge distraction from reality, and it really helps to take my mind off of all the small things I need to get done.

Choose an instrument, and teach yourself to play it.

I picked up guitar a few years back, and while I did have an amazing teacher for a year, I gave up lessons and continued to learn on my own. When I want to learn a new song, it consumes my mind so nothing else even shows up on my mind’s radar.

These are just a few simple ways to find and make a creative outlet to help you destress. It is so important to have something to put your mind at ease, even if it is just for a few minutes.

 

 

 

 

 

Fact Sources:

http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/s...

http://stress.about.com/od/funandgames/a/learningtodraw.htm

Photo Source:

http://sac.indiana.edu/courses/x155creativity/