Can Art really be Stress-Relieving?

Lily Scott, Writer

As a painter, art can absolutely be stress-relieving. I’m not going to lie, high school can be very challenging sometimes. Not just the amount of work either. I happen to be one of those people who kind of keeps to herself. I have a couple friends here and there, but I do enjoy the peace and quiet.

You know, to focus on school more. Since I’m not out partying every weekend, I take great joy in the finer things. Like art, specifically painting. If I come home from school feeling overwhelmed, or my online classes are pushing more work, I’ll pull up my stool and grab a new canvas, my brushes, my gloves, my earbuds, and forget about literally everything but what’s in front of me for the remainder of the day.

“Once people engage, they often realize they are having fun and time passes faster”, says Megan Carleton, an art therapist at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital. Even when I don’t have any school nerves, I’ll still paint up to 5 times a week. It’s not only stress-relieving, it is very entertaining. It was two Christmases ago that I got my first easel, and paints. I was kind of confused and didn’t quite know what to do with it, but once I went back to school, the work started getting more extreme. I sat down and basically started painting my feelings.

Nothing feels more satisfying than coating the canvas in afresh layer of paint. Now two years later, it’s more than a hobby. Due to art being so calming, I’ve actually spent this time learning new techniques, and filling sketchbooks, and even started a Social Media account for it. Just last month, a Chicago art gallery complimented one of my pieces!! Painting, and just art in general can really change a person’s perspective on life.

Art can even help with anxiety and sadness. Three months ago, my old dog had to be put down. It was one of the worst days of my life. Art didn’t completely take away the hole in my heart, but I later painted my favorite photo of her, and it sits in my room in a frame, where I do look at it daily and only think of the happiest times with her. Even if you don’t technically excel in the art category, you don’t have to. I do suggest people still give it a chance. Make something fun, and just create. From experiences, I guarantee it will be such a relaxing activity.

Source~ Myself, quote is from health.harvard.edu {the healing power of art}