We know the importance of expressing our feelings, but sometimes that can’t be done by simply stating our feelings out loud. Some feelings are too intense, too deep, and too buried within our hearts and minds to reveal through words.
So what do we do when we’re not able or ready to express our feelings by speaking about them? Expressing feelings through art can be incredibly beneficial, and can help us better understand ourselves and our emotions.
Art therapy has become increasingly popular in recent years as scientific studies are being done to back its practicality and benefits. One core tenant of art therapy is that different art mediums activate different parts of the brain.
For example, less resistive art mediums such as watercolor or clay are going to tap into emotional centers, whereas more resistive art mediums such as pencils and building something are going to tap into cognitive processes. Another important tenant of art therapy is that someone’s artwork often contains symbolic meanings that reflect difficult emotions and memories.
Practicing art to help process, feel, and release our emotions is beneficial to our mental health while also allowing us to be creative. However, for those who don’t consider themselves artistically gifted, it may seem like they are unable to benefit from art therapy. Luckily, that is not the case!
Check out these three ways to express your feelings through art, even if you don’t consider yourself an artist.
Reading and writing poetry have benefits in processing and understanding your emotions. Poetry is a glimpse into the writer’s mind. The key to writing poetry is allowing yourself to be completely honest and open about your feelings without the fear of judgment. Creating poetry to express emotions has been practiced throughout the history of humankind.
While creating your expressive poetry, keep in mind that poems have no defined rules or limitations, and they never need to be shared if you choose to keep them private.
We often get caught up in trying to produce something we perceive as perfect, but the goal here is to simply express emotions. Emotion focused poetry utilizes different aspects of our brain to compile memories, emotions, and more to express them as an art form. Allow yourself to truly open up and you may be shocked by what you write.
Remember how much fun it was as a child to color? Well, adult coloring books have become increasingly popular in recent years as we learn that they can relieve symptoms of anxiety. Coloring can help connect you with your inner child and your inner artist, while also allowing you to be creative.
The psychology behind adult coloring books highlights that engaging in coloring boosts relaxation. The act of focusing on coloring allows us to take a step back and get out of our own heads. While focusing on coloring, it rests the anxieties and fears living in our brains and helps promote living in the present. It also relaxes our brains by shifting our focus away from stressors.
Oil pastels are an art medium formed into a stick that contains pigment mixed with a binder mixture. They can be used for either painting or drawing, or a combination of the two. The act of smudging colors together can be therapeutic. Again, practicing this art medium allows us to shift our focus to outside of our bodies which promotes a sense of relaxation in the present.
Oil pastels can also provide a sensory experience. Our fingers are actively touching the art medium that produces, rather than holding a brush with paint on the end. This allows us to feel more connected to the art medium. The act of using oil pastels promotes calmness.
Where to Go From Here
Find some way to express yourself artistically today. You don’t have to get fancy with it, and you don’t have to spend a lot of money either. There are so many ways to express your feelings with art. Maybe it’s in taking photos with your phone and finding that perfect angle, or perhaps it’s in the care and energy you take in creating a meal from your family. Unleash your feelings into an artistic medium. There’s no telling what you might create, and we’re certain you will feel at least a little better afterwards.