Anxiety, stress and sadness, living these conditions can happen to everyone and when it happens also our quality of life may get worse and doing any activity may become very difficult. A help, in these cases, seems to come from art, so painting, drawing, working clay and in general any activity that allows you to create, to be immersed in what you are doing without dwelling on continuous negative and obsessive thoughts but living in the moment. The benefits of art therapy have been proven by several scientific studies, we can cite a research published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology by a Dutch team (Abbing et al, Front Psychol, 2019), or even the work of a Brazilian team published in Brazilian Journal of Psychiatry (Ciasca et al, 2018).
In the Dutch study, the researchers focused on the effects of art therapy on adult women aged 18 to 65 with anxiety disorders. The 60 participants of the study were divided into two groups, the first group was asked to participate in 4 sessions per month, for 3 months, of art therapy. During these sessions, the participants were asked to choose from a list of creative activities the work they would dedicate themselves to, such as modeling shapes with clay, drawing with crayons or watercolors something that can be observed or felt. The other group, on the other hand, did not participate in any session. At the end of the study, those who had participated in art therapy showed a significant improvement in anxiety, but not only that, also greater acceptance of emotions and serenity. These beneficial effects were also observed three months after the end of the art therapy sessions. But art is not only useful for adults, even the elderly with depression can benefit from it, as demonstrated by the Brazilian research cited at the beginning. In this case, the study participants were made to relax by listening to calming music and then they were able to express themselves through different forms of art, such as modeling clay, painting, making collages, sewing or weaving. It was observed, through a test performed by neuropsychologists, that art therapy has proven to be useful in reducing both symptoms related to depression and anxiety.
So, when we are under stress and anxious, but also as a prevention, we can always dedicate a moment for ourselves and free our minds by drawing, pasting or creating!