Art therapy provides stimulating and creative experiences that promote the release of serotonin or endorphins. These chemicals are natural neurotransmitters that can improve mood, dampen pain and regulate sleep. High levels of stress and inactivity due to illness and hospitalisation can reduce overall levels of these chemicals. Art therapy creates a distraction that allows patients to think of something positive instead of focusing on their ill-health. It also gives them something they can control. Creative projects are designed to have a successful outcome for you, and consequently boost your self-esteem and confidence as well as help you to relax. Some benefits of using art as an emotional and creative outlet can be:
- Giving voice to experiences and feelings not easily expressed in words
- To relax and de-stress
- Develop self-awareness and self-esteem
- Work on social skills
- Manage behaviours or symptoms
- Solve problems by looking with a different perspective
Music can be one of the most effective therapeutic tools to help you get in touch with your emotions: whether this means listening to classical music to calm your nerves, going to a punk show and releasing some tension, or creating your own music. Youth health and wellbeing organisation Tune In Not Out is an amazing resource that promotes using music to support mental health. Check out their website where you can create and share videos, music playlists, and more to help you deal with everything from stress, anxiety, and depression to sexual health and partying.