Struggling with Anxiety? Here's How Art Can Help

As we navigate our way through the complex, but wonderful labyrinth that is college life, we run into a lot of dead ends. We find ourselves completely lost and shocked at the discovery that the path that we were so confidently following led us down. Panicking, we’re forced to backtrack and start over.

These dead ends are what are known as “blind alleys;” in a maze and in college, there’s several stressors that often make us find ourselves here. Internship rejections, hard classes, failed relationships, and loneliness all attribute to coming to an abrupt stop.

These situations take a toll on our mental health and open the door for anxiety to take over our head. So, how do we keep these feelings at bay?

Everyone deals with their own anxiety differently, but one of the most successful methods throughout time has been Art Therapy. According to Bridges to Recovery, people experience significant improvements in their anxiety levels after engaging in creative activities. Art therapy has been proven to calm the nervous system, encourage self-expression, and increase self-awareness.

Ways to Introduce Art Therapy into Your Every-Day Life

  • Bullet Journaling – Owning a bullet journal not only allows you to build a customized planner and get organized, but it allows you to boost your creativity, practice lettering, and inspires new ideas. It can also help provide you with peace of mind and an escape from technology.
  • Graphic Design – You don’t need to be an expert in Photoshop to create some awesome content. Next time you post on your Instagram feed why not take the time to play around with the photo while expressing your imagination through your social media platforms. If you can get past all the ads, Picsart has some incredible and easy-to-use features that will make your posts stand out.
  • Painting – Probably the most obvious form of art therapy, painting strengthens memory and provides stress relief. If you can’t bring yourself to paint for yourself why not paint for others? A wooden letter of your best friends initial painted with the pattern of her favorite animal for her birthday, a small canvas with a scene of a beach you and your significant other visited on your first trip together…the possibilities are endless.

Fostering your creative growth and taking care of your mental health are so important. Next time you find yourself stuck in a blind alley, color outside the lines that your anxiety has set for you and draw yourself a new path.