This post is also available in: French
The reasons for getting involved in painting, sewing, knitting, and all manner of creative hobbies are almost as numerous as there are ways to create. For many people, however, one of the most important reasons to get crafty is to help ease worries. Painting for stress relief might be something you want to pursue, especially while in self-isolation during COVID-19.
Here is Lori with six ways painting (and arts and crafts generally) can help relieve stress and anxiety.
1. Ease your mind
There are any number of reasons why you may feel anxiety and pressure in your life. What’s important is that you find a way to ease that pressure, and painting for stress relief can help you do that.
Focusing on painting can allow you to refocus your mind away from whatever it is that’s stressing you out onto something that can be more entertaining and engaging. The more you fixate on your art, the less likely you are to slip back into thinking about the source of your stress.
Moreover, regular painting and arts and crafts can help you get through stressful periods by providing you with something to look forward to every day. No matter how difficult your day is, you can handle it knowing that you can brush it all aside with your paint brushes.
2. Painting for stress relief: Engage your mind
Finding ways to engage your mind in ways that are safe and stress-free can be one of the great mental health challenges you face, especially as you get older. As we age, it becomes more important to find ways of maintaining our mental faculties.
Puzzles and creative outlets can help you keep your mind sharp, and painting and arts and crafts are a great way to do just that. Studies have shown that engaging your mind via art can help combat the onset of progressive neurological conditions like dementia.
After all, art isn’t just a matter of splattering art onto a canvas – and even when it is, the best such art has a method to that madness. The paint drizzling technique of Jackson Pollock, for example, isn’t a mere accident, but a tightly controlled balance of chance and design.
The paintings of the Renaissance masters are highly structured pieces of work. Pointillists such as Seurat carefully fitted thousands of tiny dotted dabs of paint together to create grand works of art, much as diamond painting does with physical gems today.
All of the famous works displayed in art galleries have involved a balance of creativity and logic. Approached in this way, art can feel like a sudoku or crossword puzzle, a brain teaser on how to make the paint and art supplies fit together in logical patterns to create your vision.
3. Unleash your creativity
Of course, for as important as the logical side of the painting is, there is no denying that art of all kinds is about the power of creativity. We are naturally creative beings, and the act of creation can be incredibly empowering, and thus a useful way to ease stress.
Too often we can feel that our lives and jobs are dominated by destructive, empty, meaningless actions. With art, you can take pride in looking down at something and knowing that it’s something you’ve created through your own imagination and effort – and be proud of it.
It is that ability to take pride in the creative process and its products that can make art such a great response to the ennui and social anxieties of modernity. It can be difficult to find meaning or feel particularly attached to a job where you’re simply stuck clicking a mouse button or filling out Excel sheets all day. They aren’t often jobs that require much creativity or imagination or, thus, individuality.
By painting canvases or fitting gems together to create grand glittering images, you can tap into your imagination, unleash your creativity, and reawaken a spirit of individualism inside yourself.
4. Painting for stress relief: Let your emotions out
The power and pain of life’s most challenging moments can sometimes feel like it’s too much to bear. From despair of Medieval church paintings of sinners to the righteous indignation of J.M.W Turner’s “The Slave Ship” to the somber browns and blues of van Gogh and Picasso, art has long been a way of letting out one’s deepest, often most painful emotions.
Through art, you can do the same, allowing you to let out some of your most difficult and powerful feelings in a constructive, cathartic fashion.
5. An art journal
One way to try and conquer stress and anxiety is to track its presence in your life and your progress against it day by day. Journaling and sketching your feelings daily can help you do that.
Not only can this help engage your mind and allow you to get your feelings out, but it can also help you keep track of your dreams, feelings, and fears. That can make it easier to talk about them with a therapist.
6. Create as a community using diamond painting
Diamond painting has quickly become not just one of the most burgeoningly popular arts and crafts outlets today, and its ability to allow you to create within others is the main reason why.
One of the biggest potential causes of stress and anxiety is isolation and a lack of connection with others. When you are forced to live and confront your fears and feelings alone, they can seem too much to bear. By having others help you, the load can become far more manageable.
Diamond painting provides a constructive, low-pressure way to engage with others by engaging with art. All you have to do, as we can see with these instructions by dreamer designs, is to take premade gems and fit them into place in a mosaic-like fashion, creating dazzling patterns of self-expression.
A typical kit can have thousands of gems in many different colors, allowing others to work with you in fitting the gems in place. Just as the individual gems in diamond painting form a greater whole, so too can you be made whole by feeling like you’re part of a greater community of people who love and care about you.
Diamond art is, thus, a great way to bond with people, easing stress and anxiety caused by isolation in the process.
In these ways and so many more besides, painting for stress release makes sense. It unleashes your inner creativity in a truly cathartic fashion.
About today’s writer
Lori Wade is a journalist from Louisville. She is a content writer who has experience in small editions.
Lori is now engaged in news and conceptual articles on the topic of DIY and diamond painting. If you are interested in crafting, painting or lifestyle, you can find her on LinkedIn.
This post is also available in: French