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Brush Away The Blues: The Emotional Benefits of Art

The Emotional Benefits of Art, art and colors, colors of healing, healing artwork, art and emotional health, create art,
Colors and Emotions

Let's embark on a colorful journey exploring the profound impact art has on our emotional well-being. Beyond strokes and shades, art is a powerful catalyst for emotional healing. Here is evidence-backed emotional benefits, showcasing why engaging in artistic endeavors is a brushstroke towards mental wellness.

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Student Quotes

Stress Relief on Canvas:

Numerous studies have demonstrated that creating art can significantly reduce stress levels. A study published in the Journal of the American Art Therapy Association found that even a short session of art-making can lower cortisol levels, the primary stress hormone. Painting, drawing, or sculpting becomes a therapeutic refuge, allowing individuals to channel their stress onto the canvas.

Brittany, from our adult courses, finds her weekly art class to be a great stress reliever (which we know every mom needs).

Colorful Expression

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Using color to target where emotions come from

The choice of colors in art can evoke specific emotions. Research in color psychology suggests that warm tones like reds and yellows can stimulate energy and happiness, while cool tones like blues and greens promote calmness and relaxation. While painting, you can mix and match various colors and strokes to create a canvas of emotion that expresses yourself more effectively than words could. By consciously selecting colors in your creations, you can craft a palette that reflects and enhances your emotional state.

Art Therapy at US and Art. Child expressing pain
Target Emotions By Coloring Where you Feel them

One exercise that is common in art therapy is to take the outline of a person and use different colors to express where in your

body or world around you emotions come from. This is a great practice you can try at home to understand and acknowledge your emotions.

Non-Verbal Communication

Emotional Painting Created By Splattering Oil Paint
Emotional Painting Created By Splattering Oil Paint

Art provides a non-verbal outlet for emotional expression. For those grappling with feelings that are hard to articulate, the act of creation becomes a silent conversation with oneself. The canvas listens without judgment, offering a safe space for emotions to be explored, released, and understood. This is especially helpful for children, or anyone who has a difficult time communicating emotion.

first grade painting. Express emotion. First grader feeling overwhelmed with information.
This piece was created by a first grader trying to show how overwhelmed he was with all the new information.

By using the expression of emotion through color and shape, many of our students have noticed they are able to express thoughts and emotions that they weren’t sure how to verbalize. If you are consistently stressed, sad, angry, or any other emotion that is hard to handle, an art journal can be a very helpful tool. Art journals can be a safe, personal space where you can express emotions without being judged or harming others. By using color, strokes, and texture to express your emotions you are able to control them and reduce any harmful interaction with the people around you. 

You can learn about the common uses of colors and lines to express emotion in the image below. The right side is how a child portrayed emotions, and the left is an adults portrayal. Think about how you would portray these emotions using color and lines.

the expression of art through line and color. how to portray emotions with lines. how to portray emotions with color. etc.
The Expression of Art Through Line and Color

Boost Self-Esteem

Engaging in artistic activities has been linked to enhanced self-esteem. A study in the Journal of Positive Psychology revealed that individuals who participated in creative endeavors reported increased feelings of accomplishment and positive self-perception. The act of creating, whether through painting, sculpting, or crafting, contributes to a sense of achievement. The Emotional Benefits of Art go on and on.

At US and Art we focus heavily on creativity and boosting self esteem with a low pressure environment where everyone is able to create freely and be lifted up by the people around them. Our studio is a safe place for everyone to explore and make mistakes without any judgment. We celebrate our mistakes and believe our art is awesome because we are awesome! That is why every class, camp, or event says our Mantra out loud before anyone starts painting.

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Experience is the masterpiece

You can find ideas for artistic activities that will boost self esteem here for age appropriate variations or here for techniques therapists use in their sessions. 

Rhythm of Mindfulness

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Art is similiar to meditation and helps people focus and become more mindful of their surroundings.

Art-making fosters a state of mindfulness, a practice known for its positive impact on mental health. A study in the Journal of Applied School Psychology found that incorporating art into education can enhance mindfulness, reducing symptoms of anxiety and improving overall emotional well-being. The rhythmic engagement with art encourages individuals to be present in the moment, allowing them to stay calm and reduce outside stress.

When you are able to practice mindfulness while painting, that skill continues in every element of life. Children and adults who are taught to constantly be looking towards the future and switch between tasks as quickly

as possible, are finally able to slow down and enjoy each moment fully with these mindful artistic activities.

Artful Therapy in Mental Health Care:

Art therapy has emerged as a recognized form of intervention in mental health care. Research in the Journal of Clinical Psychology indicates that art therapy can be effective in addressing trauma, depression, and anxiety. The structured yet flexible nature of art therapy allows individuals to navigate their emotional landscape with the guidance of a trained professional.

You can learn more about art therapy here.

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What to put in an art journal

Many professionals have struggling clients paint or draw their emotions or stressful situations. This allows them to step back and look at the overwhelming situation with some distance and perspective. It is a highly effective method of therapy and is becoming more and more popular. 

At US and Art we understand these benefits and provide a unique experience where you are able to express yourself freely, and explore the benefits of art therapy on your own and with peers. We can teach you the basics at our studio, and you can practice at home with your own art journal.

Learn how to implement some of these beneficial exercises at home here.

US and Art Emotional Benefits

We truly believe in these techniques and benefits at US and Art. By embracing your creativity and stepping into a new artistic activity, your emotional health can drastically improve.

Need additional support? Join a class

Kids and Families

Paint Nights for Adults: Perfect Date Activity

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