Any time your feel stressed, it is helpful to try to maintain a positive perspective and a calm center. With all of the extra activities and obligations it is easy to become overwhelmed and pulled away from our center. Additionally, dealing with the crowds can be very stressful. Feeling stressed and pulled out of our center, can create feelings of anxiety, depression and hostility. Taking some time to refocus and rebalance can help you regain your calm and composure.
Art and music have a calming effect on our physical and emotional bodies. By engaging in art we are able to center and ground and calm our bodies and our mind. By accompanying an art project with soothing music can additionally help to calm and refresh us.
And, what is even more helpful is to maintain a positive mental state of mind.
Here is an activity that can help on all levels. This is an activity that I recently did at a workshop in Portland Oregon with Artist, Flora Bowley (www.florabowley.com).
Multi-media or Watercolor paper that is thick and can stand up to water and paint.
Acrylic Paints in a variety of colors
Mark Making tools (scraping tools, bottle caps, fingers, plastic forks)
Brushes varying sizes
Applicator sponges (small/medium/large ~ any or all)
Acrylic Paint PENS
Begin with putting on music that helps you feel good... no matter what type of music that is. (Note: slow music calms your central nervous system, fast upbeat music will stimulate you.)
On strong multi-media or watercolor paper about 7"X5". Choose acrylic paints by which colors move you. There is NO formula.
Cover the paper with paint, don't be afraid to overlap colors for depth or make marks by scraping paint away. Don't be afraid. Don't hold back. Don't CRITICIZE~ (Note: let your layers dry in between so you don't get paint mush.)
Leave a solid color somewhere on the paper where you can write in your favorite positive affirmation. Once you are happy with your painting, write your favorite positive affirmation in the solid area with the acrylic pens. You can even use these acrylic pens to create intricate designs.
This project is a great way to center, ground and calm yourself during a stressful time. The positive affirmation helps you to stay focused on the positive aspects of any situation.
By engaging in both art and music, your brain produces dopamine, the neurochemical that helps you to feel good and will calm your body and uplift your emotions.
This is how expressive arts therapy works.
Here are some samples of how this project can be approached.
Enjoy! Happy Creating!