Stress is a daily part of our lives, in this day and age, we are bombarded with various stressors that keep our bodies and brains permanently engaged in a fight or flight stress modes. Sitting in a bust office all day, driving in traffic, trying to meet a deadline, all contribute to our rising levels of stress. Even when we manage to go on a holiday from our busy schedule, our brains stay engaged in remunerating events of the past or events of the future.
The objective is not to remove stress or stressful situations from your lives completely but to learn how to manage stress and reduce your bodies response to the stress, it so your body can go back into its homeostasis.
We now know that meditation has an enormous benefit in reducing stress, and this is because meditation brings your body and your mind together in a present moment – it creates inner integration. This is the basis of mindful art practice. Practising mindfulness directly contributes to reducing your stress levels. Keeping a sketch pad, painting, drawing can all help – especially if you do it consistently.
There are many articles and studies on the effects of chronic stress and stress reduction. One of these studies is: “Effects of art therapy on stress and anxiety of employees”
Visnola, Dace & Sprudza, Dagmara & Bake, Marite Arija & Pike, Anita. (2010). Effects of art therapy on stress and anxiety of employees. Proceedings of the Latvian Academy of Sciences Section B Natural Exact and Applied Sciences. Vol. 64 (2010),. 85 – 91. 10.2478/v10046-010-0020-y. The study was designed to determine if art therapy has any effect on the stress and anxiety of employees. The results demonstrated that before and after art therapy in the study group, the level of the stress indicator (cortisol) over twenty-four hours and also the state of anxiety decreased significantly (P < 0.05). The mean final stress level and situational anxiety for the study group were significantly lower (P < 0.05) than those for the control group. No significant changes were found for trait anxiety in any of the groups. These findings suggest that art therapy for employees is a preventive measure for a person to understand stress situations and to be capable to manage their anxiety, react adequately and to cope with stress, thus improving the quality of life by creative means.