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How Using Your Hands Creatively Can Reduce Stress and Anxiety

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Alton and Carrie Barron are both MDs, and they both argue that “Making something, even imperfectly is empowering because it’s an expression of the self.” Most human beings suffer from stress and anxiety from time to time, but some people experience these states on a much more regular basis. Whatever your unique case may be, there’s a good chance that you can lessen the amount or the severity of stress and anxiety you feel by getting more creative.

The book Painting Your Way out of a Corner details the meditative effects of both unplanned and improvisational art, and The Creativity Cure by Alton and Carrie Barron explains how healing creativity can be; utilizing your hands and your imagination together, and actually creating something new, really is an effective technique. Focusing on the process as opposed to results is particularly effective at alleviating anxiety and stress, and it’s vital that whatever creative activity you choose is truly original and unscripted. By expressing yourself, you can heal yourself.

Gain self-awareness.

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Painting and similar art generate thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that many human beings don’t experience on a regular basis. This has the impact of loosening your way of thinking and making you think more creatively about all aspects of life (which reduces stress).

Release.

It is crucial to accept your feelings and emotions, and then to let go of them. If you are able to release your stress and anxiety by confronting them creatively, it shouldn’t be long before you feel happier and less stressed.

Be resilient.

It is vital to continue with your creative process even if the results you achieve are not what you intend or expect. If you can make the best of your art, you will also manage to make the best of life.

Be confident.

When you are confident enough to make decisions without hesitating unnecessarily, you will produce art more efficiently and effectively—and you’ll live your life more efficiently and effectively as well.

Be peacefully mindful.

Creative work often compels people to enter meditative states; you can become so focused on what you are doing that you tune-out everything else. This resembles meditation, and it provides the same peace of mind, tranquility, and sense of well-being that meditation normally does.

As you become more and more creative, your feelings and emotions will likely become more freeing and relaxing in general. You’ll probably notice that you have fewer problems—especially regarding stress and anxiety—and that even when issues do arise you can handle them in more calm and relaxed manners.

Vanquish stress and anxiety.

The book Painting Your Way Out of a Corner outlines how watercolor painting, sculpting, and clay work can all provide most human beings with the positive and productive benefits highlighted above. Conversely, gardening, crocheting, knitting, woodworking, and cooking are also creative enough to provide you with many of the same benefits. Indeed, once you get into creative and stress-relieving activities, you may begin to forget what it’s like to live an anxiety-filled life—although you may still regret not getting creative sooner.

 

 

 

Sources

Image: Painting image, Shutterstock

*This content was inspired by an amazing article that can be found here.

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