Art Therapy for Stress

Art Therapy For Stress

Hello friends, today, I'll show you how to make art when you’re stressed and need to relax.

This art therapy exercise will help you manage stress through using imagery and intuition. The art will help you tap into the peace and calmness you have within yourself (perhaps buried deep in there!) and help you cope with stressful situations at the moment and in the future.

I’m Youhjung and I do art therapy with people and make art for myself. I have been helping people through art therapy for years and I am sharing this with you and invite you to do some self art therapy.

Make sure you're in safe, quiet place where you will not be disturbed during the creative process.

If want to watch the step by step video tutorial where I share the exercise in detail you can see it here:



Art Materials You Need

The materials you need are:

Mindfulness and Intention

First, set an intention to make art today to relieve stress, and not add to it with making judgments about your artwork. Be willing to open up to the creative process.

Now, gently place your attention on your breathing and your body.

Become quiet and listen to the silence. Hear your breath as you breathe in to your lungs, and as air leaves from your nose/mouth.

Rate your level of stress right now, from a scale of 0 to 10 (0 being no stress, 10 being extreme stress). Just have this number in your mind.


The Art Therapy Prompt

Now that you are ready, here are the steps:

  1. Relax and begin to imagine an environment where you can be stress-free. A place where you can relax, be comfortable, and feel at peace.

  2. When you are ready, create an image of this place on paper.

During the process, take it easy and enjoy the colors on paper. Let go of the need to make the picture perfect.

When we're stressed out, we first need to relieve the tension we're holding in our bodies. It might feel counterintuitive but instead of trying to "solve" our stress, we need to let go and first breathe.

This exercise helps you to first get into our bodies, and tap into our right brain, and our creative imagination to calm our overthinking, stressed out mind.

It’s really to forget to relax. We forget to tap into the peace that's already within us. This art-making helps us to tap into it easily.


Reflective Writing

After you have finished the work bring a pen and a journal/notebook to write with. To reflect on our art-making process and the artwork, let’s do some writing.

Write down the answers to these questions:

  • Where is this place?

  • How would you feel if were in this place now?

  • What did you learn from this exercise? Any other thoughts?

Also, check-in again with yourself and see what your stress level is now (scale 0 to 10). Is it different from before? Or the same? If it is the same or higher, it might be a sign that you need more than this exercise to address your stress.

Maybe it might mean doing more self-care, or taking a break from work, or seeing someone who can help you in a professional way.

No matter what, it’s important to listen to yourself and be in touch with your stress level, so that you can do what needs to be done to address your needs.

I hope you enjoyed this exercise. Make sure to pin this or bookmark it for whenever you need to come back to it in the future. Also, share this post with a friend or family.

If you want more art therapy ideas and exercises you can try at home, make sure to download my free eBook below ↓ ↓

Thanks, and I’ll talk to you next time!


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