Art therapy is an incredible tool to help people of all ages deal with their emotions in a creative way. It soothes the mind and soul by giving you something other than your worries to focus on.
It provides a way to express yourself when words fail.
If you’re curious about the world of art therapy and how it can help you, we’ve got 7 art therapy exercises for you to try out on your own.
1. Create a Feeling Wheel
A feeling wheel is a lot like a color wheel but it’s personal to you and your emotions.
Basically, you’re assigning colors to your feelings.
Draw a circle on a piece of paper and divide it into eight pieces like a pie. Now, give each piece of the pie an emotion. It doesn’t matter which emotions you choose as long as they’re strong to you.
Assign each feeling a color to better get in touch with your emotions.
2. Color Your Feelings
Whether you have a feeling wheel or not, you can represent your emotions in color whenever you’re feeling something strong.
All it takes to do this exercise is something to color with. It can be paint, pencils, markers, or crayons — whatever you have available. Use it to cover a piece of paper in what you’re feeling.
There’s no right or wrong way to color your feelings. Just start coloring and see how they present themselves on the paper.
3. Design a Postcard and Don’t Send It
You’ve probably heard of writing a letter to tell someone something and never sending it to them. It’s a great way to get your emotions out in the open without the consequences that might come with directing them at someone.
This is pretty much the same exercise with a creative twist.
Find a blank postcard or cut some cardstock down to the right size. Then decorate the postcard to represent the situation and write your emotions out on the back.
Say everything! You’re not going to send it anyway.
4. Make a Collage From Something Else
Collages give you a way to create without any art supplies other than some paper and glue.
Plus, you get to take out some frustration by destroying something first.
Make your collage out of anything you have around your house. Use old magazines, newspapers, pieces of junk mail, or even old pieces of art you made yourself.
Turning something old into something new to give it a new life is a rewarding experience.
5. Draw in Complete Darkness
Most of the time, people are hesitant to start drawing because they’re worried about how it will look in the end.
Take away your own criticism and draw with your eyes closed or with the lights off altogether! You’ll get a chance to draw with freedom and get your feelings down on paper without worrying about how it looks.
6. Color a Mandala
Adult coloring books were made with relaxing in mind.
They are an amazing way to destress and take your mind off of everything else going on in your life. Mandalas in particular are beautiful patterns that you can fill in to make something amazing without much work.
There’s a certain sense of pride that comes along with finishing something, even if it’s just a coloring page.
7. Go Outside and Create
Get a double dose of therapy by going out in nature to do your art.
Getting sunlight and being around nature is good for your mental and physical health. Plus, it provides plenty of inspiration for your art. You can even use pieces of nature such as leaves and sticks in your artwork!
The next time you’re feeling overwhelmed, burnt out, or anxious, give art therapy a try. You don’t have to be an artist to do any of these exercises and have them help you feel better.
All you have to do is make an effort.
If these 7 art therapy exercises work for you, there are plenty more where those came from to keep you busy for a long while.