How Making Art Can Improve Mental Health

How Making Art Can Improve Mental Health

Art can be a powerful tool for reducing stress. Whether it's painting, sculpting, drawing, or any other form of art, creating can help to calm and centre the mind. The focus required to produce a piece of art can help to distract from worries and anxieties, providing a much-needed sense of relief. Read on to find out why!
Art can be a powerful tool for reducing stress and improving mental health. Whether it's colouring, painting, sculpting, drawing, or any other form of art, creating can help to calm and centre the mind. The focus required to produce a piece of art can help to distract from worries and anxieties, providing a much-needed sense of relief. Additionally, the finished product can remind us of our accomplishments and help to alleviate stress. This email will explore stress's impact on the body, how art can help at home and also in a professional therapeutic context.

 abstract painting with many spots of colourPhoto by 冬城 

How Does Stress Affect The Body?

Stress is the body's response to demands placed upon it. When a threat is perceived, our nervous system kicks into gear, releasing hormones like adrenaline and cortisol that prepare us to fight or take flight. This 'stress response' helps us survive in dangerous situations. However, when the stress response is triggered too easily or continues for too long, it can harm our physical and mental health.
Chronic stress can put pressure on the heart, compromise the immune system, and lead to anxiety, depression, insomnia and digestive disorders. Stress is more than just a feeling - it's a health hazard. It is essential to learn how to manage stress healthily. Creative pursuits reduce stress levels. Harvard Health says, "Creative activities can relieve stress, aid communication, and help arrest cognitive decline." Read on to find out more!
Man painting a landscape scene with watercolour paints
Photo by Jelleke Vanooteghem 

Why Does Art Reduce Stress And Anxiety?

A 2018 study found"Active art interventions, such as drawing or working with clay, significantly reduced stress and anxiety in eight out of eleven studies" (Creative Arts Interventions for Stress Management and Prevention—A Systematic Review)
Working with clay can be therapeutic, and it can help to ease anxiety, boost self-confidence, and encourage social interaction. Shaping the clay can be calming and meditative, and the softness of the clay can be soothing to the touch. It is a forgiving material, so it is easy to make mistakes and then fix them, which can help to boost confidence and reduce stress levels. Pottery can also be a social activity and help to reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness. 
 Person at a potter's wheel making a clay pot
Photo by Earl Wilcox

Drawing is a great way to take your mind away from anxiety. Anxiety often involves repetitive looping thoughts; it can seem like they're helping you find solutions, but they are just trapping you in a negative thought cycle. You can break the cycle by engaging your mind in an activity like sketching or doodling. Drawing can help us focus our attention on the present moment, slow any racing thoughts and focus on a positive act, all of which can help reduce stress. Try to relieve yourself of expectations or judgement, don't worry about making your output perfect, or holding yourself to high professional standards; follow your intuition and enjoy the process, whatever it may bring. By providing a creative outlet for stress, art can help to improve our overall health and well-being.
A person drawing a pen and ink illustration at a table surrounded by drawing toolsPhoto by Kaizen Nguyễn 

Colouring can help improve mental well-being by allowing individuals to enter a state of flow associated with reducing stress and anxiety. When in a flow state, people are focused and immersed in an activity, which can lead to a sense of euphoria. Colouring can also promote mindfulness, as it requires individuals to focus on the present moment and be engaged in the creative process. The act of colouring can also help to stimulate different areas of the brain, leading to increased self-awareness and improved problem-solving skills, better equipping the person to manage instances of stress. Colouring can be a form of self-care; completing a task provides a sense of accomplishment and boosts self-esteem.
Stack of colouring pencils on top of a colouring book with an animal designPhoto by Kelly Brito

What Is Art Therapy?

Art therapy is a type of psychotherapy which uses art-making as a way to express emotions, explore identity, and work through challenges. Art therapy can be used with people of all ages and backgrounds and is an effective treatment for many mental health conditions, including anxiety, depression, and trauma. Art therapy can also be helpful for those who are dealing with chronic pain or medical illness. While art therapy is sometimes used as a standalone treatment, it can operate in combination with other forms of therapy, such as talk therapy. As we have discussed, creating art can be deeply therapeutic, providing a safe space to process difficult emotions and cultivate self-awareness. Art therapists receive training to provide support and guidance throughout the creative process, helping clients to explore their inner selves and make positive changes in their lives.

Looking To De-Stress and Unwind?

Studies have shown that adult coloring books can provide a number of benefits for mental health and can promote relaxation. The act of colouring requires attention and focus, but it is also relatively mindless. As a result, it can provide a welcome respite from the constant stream of information and stimulation that characterises modern life. Whether it's to de-stress after a busy day or you're looking to reduce anxiety in the face of a major life change, adult colouring books are certainly worth exploring.

That's where our Ornamental Alphabet Adult Colouring Book  comes in; designed to help you relax and de-stress. It showcases a beautiful and ornate alphabet from A-Z with incredible details that you can get lost in for hours. If you make a mistake while colouring, or decide to change colour scheme halfway through, it's no problem. This colouring book includes a free print-at-home version so that you can colour the letters as many times as you want! You could also print these letters on a larger scale and frame them to give as gifts to friends and family or to decorate your home. 

We have also curated a Spotify playlist of mellow tunes to inspire you while colouring to help create a deeper sense of relaxation and get you into a peaceful, creative zone. Click here to listen.

Go ahead and make time for yourself and unwind with Vault Editions Ornamental Alphabet Colouring Book today! We also have linked a selection of useful materials for you to try.

 Ornamental Alphabet Adult Coloring Book for Relaxation and Reducing stress: A Creative and Mindfulness Activity for Assisting Wellbeing

Monsters and Beasts

Interested in learning more? Get Monsters & Beastsvia paperback and eBook. This title features hundreds of exquisitely crafted 17th and 18th-century etchings and engravings of monsters and beasts. This pictorial archive features serpents, animal mutations, sea monsters, dragons, griffins, chimeras, bizarre human mutations and abnormalities, extraordinary fanciful animals and much more.

Image Download Included: Each book comes with a download link providing instant access to high-resolution files of all images featured. These images can be used in art and graphic design projects, or printed and framed to make stunning decorative artworks. This book is ideal for graphic designers, illustrators, tattooists and fine artists.