What is Art Therapy? and can it Help Panic and Anxiety?

Art has numerous therapeutic benefits, one of which includes relieving panic and anxiety. This post explores how Art therapy provides an effective way to express yourself and seek professional help.
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  • Discover the power of self-expression: art therapy provides a unique outlet for individuals to express and process their emotions, effectively reducing panic and anxiety.
  • Tap into your creative potential: Engaging in art therapy unlocks your innate creativity, enabling you to explore new perspectives and find solace in the transformative process.
  • Experience the therapeutic benefits firsthand: By delving into art therapy, you can cultivate a sense of calm, gain valuable insights, and enhance your overall well-being, making it an invaluable tool in overcoming panic and anxiety.

Introduction: Art Therapy for Panic and Anxiety

Panic and anxiety are difficult to deal with, and they can have a far-reaching impact on your life. It can be difficult to carry on with your daily routine when you are experiencing panic or anxiety.

Despite being one of the most common mental health problems in the world, much anxiety goes unspoken and is widely misunderstood. With the constant barrage of terrifying headlines, it is no surprise that people are anxious, panicked, and even depressed.

While anxiety can be effectively treated, many people believe that nothing will help them. Art therapy, which is a way to separate yourself from your emotions and see them for what they truly are, can be beneficial.

This article will look at Six Ways Art Therapy Can Help You Beat Panic and Anxiety. Arts therapy activities have been shown in studies to increase feelings of self-worth, reduce difficulty coping with emotions, and improve overall mood. Although everyone understands that art has therapeutic benefits, it can be difficult for people to see those benefits because art is often considered a hobby rather than a true therapy.

Art therapy is a proven, evidence-based treatment for panic and anxiety that can be as effective as medication prescribed by a healthcare professional.

However, as with any therapy, it must be practised on a regular basis. The key to successful art therapy is to keep doing it even after panic and anxiety have subsided. It could be the missing piece in your emotional healing process.

How Can Art Therapy Help You?

Art Therapy is a type of psychotherapy in which people explore their thoughts and feelings with art materials in order to gain a better understanding of themselves. Images can be used to express concerns and emotions that are too complex to express in words alone.

The first step toward self-care is to engage in creative endeavours, which help to expend energy in a positive way. Seeking the assistance of a professional art therapist is required in order for art therapy to provide significant treatment.

A qualified art therapist can help you achieve your long-term goal by making the healing process more effective and treatment-oriented. Qualified art therapists provide their services in a variety of settings and facilities, making it a highly effective way to begin your recovery journey.

How Does Art Help Fight Panic and Anxiety?

Almost every piece of art is made with the intention of evoking emotion. Art can help people of all ages, not only reach their creative potential, but regulate their moods and provide some relief to people who are anxious, at least temporarily.

Art has many therapeutic benefits, including the reduction of panic and anxiety. Making art can be extremely beneficial to your overall mental health.

The impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) on society, according to the UK National Statistics Office, revealed a number of trends. Women, for example, have higher levels of anxiety, depression, and loneliness than men. According to the data, 86% of women and 74% of men reported feeling lonely at the end of January 2021.

Art therapy for anxiety is a powerful way to express yourself and seek professional assistance. Through creative self-expression, you can confront your fears, disorders, mental illnesses, emotions, feelings, and more.

The case for panic attacks and anxiety is that they are frequently difficult to describe. It is often difficult to get to the root of a problem without the right words to express the feeling or sensation. Art therapy, on the other hand, is not solely reliant on words – making it easier to express your innermost thoughts.

How Art Therapy Works to Heal Panic Attacks & Anxiety

Many people are suffering from stress, anxiety, and depression in an increasingly turbulent world. This can lead to the unfortunate feeling of losing it, which is often something that should be taken seriously. As a result, mental health treatment for these disorders is critical in order to help those in need live a better life.

The therapeutic aspect of art has numerous advantages for all of us. It fosters an environment that promotes self-esteem, self-awareness, and social skills, as well as emotional resilience and conflict resolution. 

It is especially beneficial for those suffering from mental illnesses such as panic attacks, stress, and anxiety. Art therapy provides an outlet for receiving effective treatment, calming one’s nerves, and seeking peace in adversity.

“I found I could say things with colour and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way, things I had no words for.”

6 Ways Art Therapy Helps Panic and Anxiety

If you suffer from panic attacks or anxiety, art therapy may be beneficial. It has been proven that the act of creating something artistic can help reduce anxiety and panic symptoms.

Art therapists are only qualified to diagnose, treat, or advise on problems based on their education, training, and experience. Art therapists frequently collaborate with other professionals to provide the best possible service to their clients.

Whatever the severity of your problem, the intervention characteristics of this life skill will broaden your understanding of how to handle difficult situations. Furthermore, art therapy can teach users how to better care for their physical and mental health.

1. Art Therapy Calms the Nervous System

Art therapy is a type of therapeutic activity in which a person creates art with the assistance of a therapist. The act of making art stimulates the mind and activates the nervous system, resulting in the release of endorphins. Endorphins have been shown to reduce pain, depression, excessive stress, and anxiety, as well as improve creativity and emotional well-being. Art therapy soothes the nervous system by stimulating the mind and activating the nervous system, which results in the release of endorphins.

Because art therapy activities do not require much talking or verbal communication, they are very calm and quiet. It is frequently perceived as meditative, which aids in the relief of stress, irritability, anxiety, and nervousness.

Art therapy allows the creator to express their feelings in a nonjudgmental environment, relieving them of the pressure of having to communicate everything in one session. In other words, you can express yourself through therapeutic elements such as symbolism, colours, strokes, and whatever method you believe is most appropriate for you to calm yourself.

2. Encourages Distraction and Interrupts Rumination

Art therapy is an expressive process that can be used therapeutically. It is thought to be beneficial for people suffering from mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety because it encourages distraction and interrupts ruminating thoughts. When someone is depressed, they tend to ruminate and become increasingly introspective.

Panic attacks frequently cause a state of disruption that necessitates immediate attention. Art therapy can help you regain mental control and find peace in the midst of a panic attack. By assisting in the shift of focus to the canvas, you can concentrate more on what needs to be communicated artistically.

It diverts attention away from troublesome thoughts and directs it toward art. Making art also helps to divert your attention away from the mundane and allows you to get closer to what you see rather than what others see.

3. Encourages Self-Expression

Drawing, painting, sculpting, and other creative activities are used in art therapy to encourage self-expression. This allows participants to express their personal feelings and thoughts, boost their confidence, and become more self-aware.

Anxiety arises from within, and the subsequent state of panic and anxiety attacks are triggered by external thoughts, events, memories, feelings, and other factors. These anxious thoughts or incidents are usually difficult to discuss without re-triggering the anxiety or panic attacks.

Art therapy takes a less risky approach to dealing with the issue, encouraging self-expression in a safe and relaxed setting. Your art therapist can teach you how to effectively express your emotions, deal with them, and learn from the experience.

4. Provides Tactile Stimulation

Art therapy is a creative healing method that uses the creative process of creating art to explore how one feels, deals with emotions, and heals from trauma. People recovering from trauma, particularly post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), can use art to recreate their memories in a less painful way. Making art also provides stress relief due to the tactile stimulation. This therapeutic technique relaxes people and can alleviate symptoms.

Art therapy promotes expression through tactical stimulation; it allows you to have a more realistic experience with art. Tactile stimulation is all about experiencing the details of the canvas and the art you created through direct touch and other touch sensations, such as feeling the body of textures on the surface, the temperature of the artwork, and a variety of other details.

Art therapy’s treatment process aids in engaging the mind and body in the creation of something that aids in expression.

5. Increases Self Awareness

Art therapy is the process of expressing oneself in any artistic form in order to improve one’s mental health. One of the most important ways in which art therapy increases self-awareness is by allowing people to express feelings, desires, fears, and thoughts through artwork in ways that words cannot.

One of the primary reasons art therapy has become so popular in recent years is that it emphasises self-expression, self-awareness, and self-development. By engaging in a creative endeavour, you may discover a new aspect of yourself that you were previously unaware of.

Making art helps to put things into perspective and clarifies any bottlenecks. It also displays individual characteristics that help you better understand yourself, manage your anxiety, and deal with stress.

6. Goes Beyond the Limit of Verbal Expressions

Art therapy is a type of therapy that is based on the idea that creativity has the ability to heal. It usually entails using art media such as painting, drawing, sculpture, or collage to create individually tailored art-based treatments.

Art therapy extends beyond the limitations of verbal expression, allowing them to express themselves in a variety of ways. Therapists can use any type of art, but it is usually used to address the patient’s mental and physical state.

Art therapy eliminates the need to rely on traditional forms of expression in favour of allowing your artwork to speak for itself. You can paint your feelings, emotions, or triggers with little to no hesitation because it does not restrict you to specific forms of expression.

Art therapy allows you to express traumatic experiences without having to relive them. A qualified art therapist can assist you in deciphering your artwork and providing your perspective on what it represents. As a result, you will be able to better understand yourself and effectively manage your anxiety and panic triggers.

"you’ve created something that’s yours, you’ve got ownership of it – it’s something that belongs to you and you’ve got that sense of pride"

Use Art Therapy to Develop Coping Strategies

If you or a loved one is suffering from a mental illness, treatment combined with art therapy will be more effective in addressing the disorders and developing coping strategies. There are many different types of mental illnesses that can be treated with art therapy. Panic attacks, stress, anxiety, and other subtypes include:

  • Panic disorder
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder
  • Social Anxiety Disorder
  • Substance/Medication-Induced Anxiety Disorder
  • Specific Phobia
  • Selective Mutism

Including Art Therapy in Your Treatment Plan

If you or a loved one is suffering from anxiety, do not keep it to yourself; seek professional help right away. Be at ease and positive; things will improve and this is all but a moment in time!

Including art therapy in your treatment plan will improve the quality of your care. It will assist you and your loved ones in dealing with and reducing panic and anxiety triggers more effectively.

Art therapy’s goal is to assist you in expressing your emotions through a creative process. Drawing, painting, sculpture, or even writing may be involved. It may take some time to decide what you want to draw or paint, but once you start, this therapeutic approach can be both relaxing and rewarding.

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is also widely used to treat anxiety disorders. It has been shown to be effective in treating other conditions in addition to panic disorder, phobias, social anxiety disorder, and generalised anxiety disorder.

6 Ways Art Therapy Helps Panic and Anxiety Blog Post by Adrian Reynolds

Conclusion: Take a Break From the Stresses of Everyday Life.

Art therapy can help people deal with panic and anxiety by providing a nonjudgmental space for them to express themselves.

Nonetheless, dealing with the symptoms of these conditions can be difficult. Art therapy sessions help people deal with these conditions and take a break from the stresses of everyday life. Art therapy can be a profound experience and a wonderful way to express yourself; the more artistic exercises you do, the better you will feel.

As a part of a long-term comprehensive treatment plan, art therapy can open many doors to provide a full range of treatment that is drawn out specifically for you. Seeking and exploring expert help is the first step towards faster recovery, and when the treatment plan involves art – the equation becomes far more rewarding.

This is the first in a series of posts about how art therapy can help people deal with anxiety and panic. If you are interested, you can find more of my posts by clicking here.

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DISCLAIMER. The information provided in this article is designed to provide helpful information on the subjects discussed. This content is not meant to be used, nor should it be used, to diagnose or treat any medical condition. For diagnosis or treatment of any medical problem, consult your own doctor.

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Post Illustration: Georgia O’Keeffe and ‘Black Place III’, 1944 – (Photo by George F. Mobley 1980).

Art That Introduces a New Perspective – Sea Spray

To truly benefit from the deep reaching impact of art, invest in art that has a calming effect on you and your surroundings. 

Sea Spray demonstrates a vivid combination of versatile colours that are enough to make you feel the ocean breeze from the comfort of your room.

It plays to the psychology of art and creates a calm and serene atmosphere for you to relax and rejuvenate in, as well as get your thoughts decluttered. 

The fine colours and fluid pattern will be the centre of attention in your living space. All while giving you that centred and composed sense of being that will make you experience creativity, a new perception, a sense of connectivity along with a lot more.

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