Feeling anxious can steal our joy. It can prevent a good night’s sleep, give us stomach problems, sweats and make us feel restless. Sometimes anxiety is a normal reaction to stressful events. It can be related to physical reasons as well. For example, low blood sugar from not eating on time or eating the wrong foods can trigger anxiety. Getting too few hours of sleep can cause changes in mood. If you are not taking time for your basic needs, eating regularly, getting enough sleep and exercising, start making the time right now.
Art therapy can help with anxiety despite where it comes from, like a negative event, disorder or thinking pattern. It helps people to express their emotions, find coping tools and learn more about themselves. Art making is naturally relaxing because it uses different areas of the brain. It does not rely on verbal expression where all the mind chatter resides. In art therapy sessions, people asked to express their feelings in the art using whatever colours, images or materials they choose. It can be abstract or not. Things come out in the discussion of the art that provides clues about the person. Images that arise in it may not even be in the artist’s conscious mind.
It can be helpful to work with professional art therapists because they are trained in this form of psychotherapy. They help people to work through issues, emotions, be truer to themselves and their values, provide coping tools and a safe space for sharing.
The art shared today was created in one of Art Therapy Guelph's sessions. This was an exercise where people made an image or object, of something they felt was grounding for them. The art is of a clay heart sitting in a nest. The heart is damaged but stitched up and healed. It has been broken. The heart is at the forefront and easily hurt. The art represented the need for their sensitive heart to have a soft place to land. The nest means to them a place of comfort, consolation, protection and sharing. They spoke about ways to create this comforting secure place in their everyday life. Art therapy sessions are a very safe place to share.
Heather Caruso is an art therapist, from Art Therapy Guelph. If you would like more information, book a get-acquainted chat today, call 519 827 9237 or book it online.