5 Therapeutic Painting Activities to Try for Stress Reduction

Uncategorized Dec 21, 2020

Photo caption: Participating in therapeutic painting and drawing activities can reduce stress significantly. Image courtesy of Dimitra Milan Dunn.

As culture warriors in the 21st Century, we often associate ourselves with power words, like “courageous,” “determined,” “dauntless” and “transcendent.” While all of these words do describe us, the truth is even the most valiant artist warrior feels the effects of stress from time to time. This is particularly true during the Christmas and holiday season when there is so much going on.

As it turns out, the thing that makes us brave culture warriors is also the thing that we can turn to in order to reduce stress: art making. More specifically, taking up some therapeutic painting and drawing activities this holiday season may be just what the doctor ordered to keep us mentally and emotionally healthy this holiday season. Here is the scoop on therapeutic art and some cool de-stressing painting and drawing activities to try.

What Is Art Therapy/Therapeutic Art?

According to Today.com, art therapy combines the principles of psychology with the creative process and creative activities, like painting, drawing, sculpture, etc. While true art therapy takes place under the supervision of a licensed counselor, anyone can turn to art when they want to reduce their stress levels. 

A recent Forbes article highlights a group of researchers from the University of the West of England in Bristol concluded that people who participate in activities, like coloring in coloring books or on coloring sheets, report a reduction in anxiety levels and improved mindfulness abilities. 

Video caption: Learn more about art therapy and how it works.

Some Therapeutic Painting and Drawing Activities to Try

  1. Collage: A Huffington Post article points out that collaging activities help us see that creation and destruction are often linked and that the end result, despite the destruction, can be more beautiful than the original. Collage projects don’t just have to be about torn paper and glue. You can add a therapeutic painting or drawing element to this activity very easily. If you need some pointers on collage, check out our online collage class
  2. Landscape Painting of Your Favorite Place: Painting and drawing our favorite places in the world not only allows us to get in some urban sketching and painting, it also allows us to tap into those nostalgic feelings we associate with the places we love. As it turns out, those feelings of nostalgia are good for our mental health.
  3. Create Your Own Zentagle Activity: If you’ve followed us long enough, you know that we’re big fans of artsy doodles. Doing your own self-created Zentangle activities is one way to bring therapeutic drawing and painting into your world. 
  4. Affirmations Cards: Get some card stock and paint, draw or color your favorite affirmations and power words on them. Once your cards are done, arrange on a large bulletin board or on your wall where you can see these daily doses of inspiration. 
  5. Gratitude Box: Many people create gratitude jars come January 1st. You can create a variation on this theme by creating a gratitude box. You can use this activity as an excuse to get a few more therapeutic painting or drawing activities in. Just decorate the box with your paints, collage materials and more!

Here are More Stress-Reducing Therapeutic Art Activities to Try

5 Fun Christmas Arts and Crafts to Make With Your Family 

Urban Sketching Tips: 5 Best Places for Travel Sketching in Athens, GA

35+ Travel Sketching Ideas to Overcome Your Creative Blocks

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