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Stress Relief Through Art

Updated on July 9, 2016

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Stress can be caused by any number of things that occur in life, but its negative affects can hurt your health and leave you feeling miserable. While it can be hard to stop the source of the stress, there are plenty of ways to relieve it, and art has proven to hold some of the most enjoyable and beneficial of these methods. Art allows us to be free and become ourselves. Without any walls or masks to hide behind, our stress fades away. Finding the right art to relieve your stress can seem like an overwhelming task, as there are a plethora of types to choose from, but it all comes down to what you enjoy the most. Here are some of the most popular art stress relievers:


Adult Coloring Books & Painting

You may have noticed something new in bookstores in the United States: adult coloring books. It seems like a flashback to childhood, but this growing trend stems from society's needs to relax and take a mental break from their overwhelmingly busy lifestyles. The mindless act of coloring images helps unwind our overly active brains after stressful days. The same goes for painting. Anyone can create art, but sometimes just the act of painting can help you loosen up from all the negative things circulating in your life. With many different styles and endless mediums to try, painting has been valued by many people seeking stress relief. The simplest acts of coloring or painting can go a long way towards helping you clear your mind.


Martial Arts

Need something a bit more physical? Martial arts are growing more and more popular as they offer both stress relief and an enjoyable way to get in shape. This field can seem daunting to some, but they should not be discouraged, as martial arts can be started at any time in life - young or old. As one progresses in the art it becomes more of a lifestyle. This may sound odd or ritualistic, but it is none of these. People from all walks of life study martial arts for stress relief - cashiers, doctors, teachers, even lawyers. While this art might not be for everyone, it is certainly held in high regard by doctors, who see the benefits of it on their patients. Martial arts strengthen both the mind and the body of the artist.

Theatre & Fine Arts

Theatre and fine arts encompass more than people realize with different genres such as movies, plays, musicals, dance, and even singing. Movies and theatrical performances can be great stress relievers as they transport us to worlds that are not our own as they tell fantastic stories that whisk us away and let our imagination take over. Like the martial arts, dance allows the body to not only improve physically but mentally as you learn new combinations and routines. On the other hand, singing, while not physical like dance or martial arts, has a kind of magic letting one sing their worries away through the melodies of songs whether listening or singing along.


Reading & Writing

Often forgotten when discussing the arts, lingual arts help relieve stress using methods that are found similarly in fine arts. By taking a person on a journey, and allowing them to leave their world for another. While reading is one half of the lingual arts, writing can also be stress relieving. Journaling can help you to think over what has occurred so you can be better prepared to face life when you wake up the next morning, as it gives you a chance to reflect and think things over. Whether its writing in a diary about your day or creating short stories about mythical creatures and far away lands, writing gives your brain the release it needs after a long day of hard work.


Culinary Arts

While this might seem odd to include, cooking and eating are actually found to relieve stress in many people. However, this does come with a warning: many people who find themselves chronically stressed tend to overeat, a term referred to as "stress eating". This is not stress relieving and only creates more problems. Yet, the act of cooking and enjoying food can be a great stress reliever as long as it is not overdone. When you make or eat something you enjoy, you naturally feel better. This relaxing sensation can lead to more stress relief and an overall feeling of wellness.

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    • denise.w.anderson profile image

      Denise W Anderson 

      2 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      I have recently discovered stress relief through reading. It used to be that I read to learn only, now, I read to escape and discover other times and places, as well as other relationships and emotions. It has given me an inexpensive way to relax and unwind after a busy day.

    • Bamboo Therapy profile image

      Bamboo Therapy 

      2 years ago from Hallandale beach, Florida

      I love drawing and painting. When I am sad I try to paint the wall and release my stress through painting.

      Nice article.

    • profile image

      Beep Boop 

      2 years ago

      Interesting read! Bookmarked for future reference :)

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      This was very informative. Well done. For me the culinary arts are what I pursue when trying to relieve stress. 10/10 would recommend this

    • profile image

      Sisu GarcĂ­a 

      2 years ago

      Excellent article! I have always loved the idea of art as a way to relieve stress and this is an amazing post that sums that up and the many different art forms that you can use!

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      I don't know what I would do without art, it truly relieves all of my stress. I'm glad that people are starting to understand that art is for everyone and that it comes in so many other forms than just doodling. Wonderfully written article.

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      Very nice article!


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