How to Relieve Stress Through Artistic Expression?

How to Relieve Stress Through Artistic Expression?

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                It has been more than a year since the world was placed in such a life-changing catastrophe – the pandemic which has really changed both the world and the course of humanity. Although, we have been battling against this pandemic for more than a year now, we cannot refuse to admit that we still haven’t got the hang of dealing with the stressful situations that this health crisis put us in.

               I remember when the pandemic first released its pent-up rage like it hated the world so much and killed many lives across the world. Until now I can still feel the fear and fright from the threats posed by this virus to all aspects of our lives. Not only that, the outbreaks might have been reduced to few figures after a year, but the feeling of terror remains the same. Admit it or not, it has been taking a toll on your head, causing you to feel stress.

                Stress, according to Mental Health Foundation (2021), is our body’s response to pressure. Many different situations or life events can cause stress. It is often triggered when we experience something new, unexpected or that threatens our sense of self, or when we feel we have little control over a situation.

                Surmounting the new normal these days is hard, but coping with stress is even harder. Stress would be the last thing you would want to experience during this time of pandemic. Believe me when I say that it is something that takes serious response for it can have a negative impact on our health.

                While there are a number of ways you can do to relieve the stress which you might have already done or tried before like stress-eating, getting some restful sleep, or perhaps spending time with using social media, there are also creative outlets that you can engage in and which can help you loosen up.

              These creative outlets are activities which can also provide you with a platform for artistic expression. Artistic Expression is a conscious utilization of artistry or creativity along with imagination in generating a product of any forms that gives opportunity to communicate one’s inner self –thoughts, feelings, intuition, aspirations, and desires. Not only that it is good for the soul, expressing our inner selves is also very beneficial both to our physical and mental health. It enables us to free ourselves from the worries of the present time and convert them into something artistic yet advantageous.

                 In communicating one’s inner self, one must consider finding alternative channels at which he/she can express or vent out his/her emotions and thoughts. These channels which an artist can take part in should be beneficial. This means that it should free all of the emotions and thoughts of the one communicating it with these channels and in return it will benefit the one who will view or look at the creative output done.

What are Creative Outlets?

                 Creative outlets can be defined as the human creative activities which serve as the vents or channels which help an artist communicate his/her inner self. These creative outlets include creative activities that are artistic in nature and some which are not commonly associated with arts but generally a product of artistic expression as well.

                 One of the amazing and engaging features of the creative outlets is that these facilitate moments of vitality and connection for those who choose to participate in these activities. These are not restrained to be done by artists only. Even individuals who want to express and share their inner selves with the world can also take part in these creative outlets.

A Wide Array of Creative Pursuits

                 As mentioned, creative outlets are artistic activities or pursuits which anyone can engage in. These creative outlets as the channels of artistic expression can be enjoyed and indulged in a variety of forms, but cited below are the most common.

  • Painting and Drawing

These two creative outlets differ from one another. Painting is a creative practice or activity that is characterized by applying paint, pigment, color or other medium to a solid surface (usually with cloth or canvas) and is usually applied by a brush. On the other hand, drawing is an artistic activity which is done by producing or making lines, shapes, and marks with visual appeal and art elements incorporated. This is especially done with a pen, pencil on a piece of paper.

This is an outlet which can assist you to make your audience visualize what you have gone through. This can be done through the help of the experience you had, paint, and a brush. Through painting/drawing, you are able to make your experience something which can be easily visualized by other people whom you want to communicate your inner self with. Basically, your attitude towards the experience will surely reflect on your output.

  • Sculpting

            This is a creative process of creating or representing an object or a figure from a moldable material through carving, casting, and other shaping techniques possible. If you worry about this creative pursuit being an activity of a pro artist or a sculptor, worry no more for you can go for molded sculpture. This just requires clay, wax, paper-mache’ and plaster. If you are more concerned about doing something without spending so much with high-end materials, you can just purchase air dry clay or the ones children use in playing. You can mold it to form different objects. Some creative folks turn this hobby into a business. They make key chains and accessories out of this clay.

  • Needle Work

            It is an artistic procedure which is characterized by using a needle and other tools such as threads, pins, and pincushions.  This is decorative sewing and crafting of textile arts handicrafts that include making crochet, cross stitching, making embroidery, and sewing.

  • Drama

            As a creative performance through dialogue and acting/portrayal, drama is meant to be done before an audience. This may include a play, opera, mime, ballet and a lot more performances. Drama can also be a good outlet for you to channel out that sense of accomplishment that you acquired from that particular experience. You can engage yourself in a drama that talks about success or if not possible, that sense of accomplishment that you had can be of great help to you as an actor when you have to portray a role like that. It would be much easier for you to internalize roles and dialogues since you had been through so much from a previous experience.

  • Music

            Music is considered as an art of sound in time which transcends emotions and life experiences through incorporating some elements including melody, rhythm, harmony, and tempo. Music is also a great creative outlet if you want to communicate a story of success, pain, and even suffering. Through what you feel and think from the experience you encounter, you can communicate it with the world through singing a song that represents your story of success. By using all the elements of music, you can successfully narrate your encounter and make the audience feel the experience you had.

  • Dance

            Dance is an art form belonging to performing arts which characterized by using bodies to express and communicating ideas, feelings, and experiences. During this time, a lot of people became very interested and engrossed in Tiktok where they can dare to do dance challenges and take a video of themselves while dancing. This somehow helps the process of self-expression. They benefit from these in such a way that they do not only boost their confidence but also they get to develop and discover their talent in dancing.

  • Creative Writing

            As a creative outlet, creative writing is a process of putting into words anything that goes outside the bounds of imagination and creativity and sharing them with people in a number of forms including poems, stories, and novel. Creative Writing will enable your thoughts and emotions towards your story of success through the help of pen and paper. You can craft a personal narrative wherein you can communicate what you have been through. You can also create short stories, a novel perhaps, a poem or even a diary entry. You are given a chance to express your inner self by putting into words everything that you feel and think after the experience.

  • Photography

            It is an art or creative practice of capturing images of objects or any subject through the use of a camera with considerations on the lighting, angle, and emphasis/focus. Those who are photography enthusiasts can explore this art by simply practicing different shots by merely using their mobile phones. You don’t really have to obtain a high-end camera to engage in this creative outlet. A smartphone will be fine. However, if you’re into results, you may start investing in purchasing high-quality and high-end cameras which can really help you with pursuing photography.

                 The abovementioned creative activities are the most common of all creative outlets of artistic expression that an individual can take part in. However, there are a lot of other creative outlets these days which are not artistic in nature, but generally become creative outlets since these incorporate artistic elements of expression. Some of which are as follows:

  • Cooking
  • Crafts making
  • Interior designing
  • Gardening
  • Baking
  • Calligraphy
  • Video and Photo editing
  • Mixology
  • Soap making
  • Candle making
  • Furniture making and restoration
  • Pottery
  • Jewelry making
  • Cosmetology
  • Nail Art

Bottom Line

                 To wrap it all up, artistic expression is almost everywhere. Whether you are just engrossed in your creative hobbies, or branching out through daily household chores, as long as you express yourself artistically, you already have your creative outlet which can flex your creative muscles, maximize your free time, and give you a great deal of happiness and accomplishments, and help you relieve the stress that you might have been trying to surmount for quite sometime.

                 We all have our own ways of coping with these stressful situations. How we react and respond to the sticky circumstances that we are saddled with will decide how well we will be in the coming days. You may not be aware of it yet, but you might have that one activity that you usually do when you’re confronted with such a difficult situation -whether it is by stress-eating or travelling, spending time with social media or watching funny movies.

                 Why settling for less productive activities when you can relieve your stress through artistic pursuits?

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