Art Therapy has been around for years and while there will always be a select bunch that regard it with disdain it’s benefits to body, mind and soul is clear! Being creative a great way to express yourself, work out how you are feeling and use it as a release for your emotions.
In addition, calligraphy has recently been tested with cancer patients as a way to reduce depression. While further testing needs to be completed before any conclusive outcome can be reported the initial stages are showing that the practice of calligraphy is improving the mood of the patients who are taking part.
The Influence of Art Making on Anxiety: A Pilot Study also revealed the psychological effects of creating art. It is said to "significantly reduce a person's state of anxiety" and has led to conversations about the use of art therapy to help students deal with stress for a calmer university life.
5. It Doesn’t take long - Make Time
It has been said that just 30 minutes of being creative can reduce your stress levels and I am a huge believer in this! Being creative is not just about how ‘good’ the final outcome is, I am more inclined to believe that the process of creating is more important than the outcome. The very act of creating something inspires a sense of contentment which plays a major part in reducing the feelings of stress and anxiety
While you may read this and think it all sounds little idealistic there are many, many studies that have hard facts about how being creative is so good for you. Neurologists are now encouraging people with brain injuries to seek out creative activities citing neuron growth as a major factor - I got so excited when I was told this! It was like someone was reading my neurons… a little brain joke for you there. You’re welcome.
FINAL MYTHBUSTER before i go…
While I would like to think that whoever reads this will feel inspired enough to pick up a pen I’m very aware that a lot of people find it hard to be creative and don’t do anything because they’re not ‘good at art’. I’d like to dispel this myth right here, right now.
YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE GOOD AT ART TO BE CREATIVE.
Shockeroony! Creativity comes in many forms and you don’t need to be ‘good’ at it, you just need to enjoy it!
What if it’s rubbish? So what! Did you enjoy the process?
What if it looks like your 2 year old niece made it? Who cares, did you have fun making it? And anyway, were you planning on selling it in Southebys next to a Banksy?!
It’s not good enough. Good enough for who? Reassess why you’re being creative, make sure you’re doing it for you not anyone else! The chances are you’re not planning a side hustle in watercolour pet portraits but if you really enjoy painting pictures of your sausage dog then keep doing it!
Creativity is about cutting loose, shaking off your day and relaxing into something that lets your brain run free.
Whether it’s knitting, doodling, drawing, colouring in, cooking, painting, making lampshades, pottery, music, poetry, dancing, singing, writing, cutting and sticking, paper craft or simply sitting down and doing some calligraphy drills - try it all at least once, find out what you enjoy and what helps you to switch off your brain.
(Did I mention I teach modern calligraphy?! (shameless self promotion.)
Thank you for getting through this whopping blog, I hope it’s inspired you to try something new. I’d love to hear about new creative things you’ve tried!
With love to your stressed out brains.
I’ve added some sources below that I have referenced above but I do plan to keep adding to this list as time goes on.
SOURCES FOR MY RAMBLINGS