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5 Easy Art Exercises for a Healthier Mind

November 09, 2023 3 min read

Modern life serves up heaping servings of stress with a side dish of anxiety, leaving us yearning for a dash of tranquillity and a pinch of calm.

After much tinkering and tailoring, we've curated a list of simple and accessible art exercises just for you. These practices are designed to serve as a soothing balm for your mind during times of stress and anxiety.

1. Scribbling

Therapeutic effects: Stress reduction, improved focus, and increased relaxation.

Grab a pen and a piece of paper. Begin by letting your pen glide across the paper, without lifting your hand, just let it flow freely. Don't worry about making something perfect; this is all about letting your mind roam as your hand moves.

Once you have a tangle of lines and shapes, take a closer look at your scribbles, and you'll notice spaces, both big and small. Fill them in with any patterns that you like – stripes, dots, spirals, or even a mix of everything.

2. Hand Lettering

Therapeutic effects: Improved focus, emotional expression, and creativity.

These days, our keyboards get more of a workout than our handwriting does, right? Reconnect with the art of hand lettering, and you might just find a way to channel stress into something beautiful. Pick any word or phrase—something you love, something that inspires—and pour your heart into every stroke, every curving line, and every dot. Let the pen glide and your worries slide.

3. Art Journaling

Therapeutic effects: Emotional exploration, self-expression, and mindfulness.

Art journaling offers a safe space for your creative thoughts—a sanctuary where there is no right or wrong. All you need is a journal or a sketchbook and your imagination. A daily drawing or doodle embodying your emotions or experiences can be your starting point. Treat each page as a cherished friend, a non-judgmental companion.You can also cut out magazine photos that resonate with you or use colourful washi tapes (if you have them handy) for decoration.

4. Happy Stamping

Therapeutic effects: Increased focus, creative expression, and emotional release.

Do you remember the joy of playing with stamps as a child? It's time to rekindle that pleasure with happy stamping. Collect an assortment of rubber stamps from a local stationery store or create your own using fruits, vegetables, or sponge cut-outs. Dip them in some colourful paint or ink, and start stamping away on a blank piece of paper or in your journal. Mix and match different shapes and colours to create your own unique artwork that captures your current mood or emotions.

5. Gratitude Tree

Therapeutic effects: Enhanced appreciation, mindfulness, and happiness.

Gratitude ground us, making us feel more connected to ourselves and to our world. An excellent way to practice this is by creating a gratitude tree.

Start by drawing a simple tree, including the trunk and branches with empty leaves. Every day, write what you're grateful for on these leaves. As you watch your tree getting filled over time, so will your heart—with positivity, calm, and a newfound appreciation for little joys.

Art is personal and powerful—a warm hug on a cold day, a beacon during troubling times. By making these simple art exercises part of your routine, you're not just creating beautiful art; you're creating a healthier, happier state of mind.

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