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Unwinding Your Mind Using Art 

by Chrissy Langford LMT

“I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way – things I had no words for.” ~Georgia O’Keeffe 

“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.” ~ Thomas Merton

Drawing and painting has been a form of therapy for me since I was a child. It was a way to escape, a way to calm my mind and spirit and a way to express myself when I couldn’t find the words to do so. I could spend hours just lost in a creative zone. 

After every Unwind the Mind session, I tell my clients to make sure they are practicing their favorite relaxation techniques at home to ease stress and anxiety post massage during the 2 week wait. The two week wait can be a time where anxiety levels are high and emotions are heightened. It’s important to take time for self-care and relaxation. 

Creative art therapy can help one reduce stress, improve self-esteem, explore emotions hard to explain with words, improve symptoms of anxiety and depression and cope with a difficult or traumatic life event. It is known to calm the nervous system. It can create a quiet and meditative state of mind. 

I like to use art as a form of meditation. After a long day and usually right before bed, I will take a moment to do some deep breathing exercises and then get to doodling. I put on some music and light candles and incense to set a vibe. Sometimes I just sit in silence and really check in from within. I try not to think about what I am drawing/painting and I just let my mind/pencil/paintbrush just flow. The art I produce in these moments is for no one but myself to see so there is no fear of judgement. I use colors that fit my mood in the moment. Blues and greens can be calming and healing. Reds can stimulate energy and passion. Yellows and oranges are bright and radiate warmth.  I love drawing eyes and lips, leaves and flowers, different patterns and random shapes. At the end, I often am left feeling lighter and free of whatever was hanging over me that day. 

Again, you don’t have to be an artist to use art as a way to unwind. Try picking up an adult coloring book, doing a collage, origami, beadwork, knitting, embroidery, vision boards and even dance. All are great ways to just let go and quiet the mind. You can also keep an art journal using collage and doodles as a form of self-expression when words are not easy to come by. 

Join us for a FREE experiential event in Chicago to unwind and learn more about the benefits of Fertility Enhancing Massage for your journey! Save your spot today for Creative Expression to Unwind the Mind on Thursday, November 14th at 7pm here!

Chrissy Langford LMT

Here are some great articles and blog posts about using art as a form of meditation and to reduce stress:

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/study-says-making-art-reduces-stress_n_576183ece4b09c926cfdccac

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/07421656.2016.1166832?journalCode=uart20#.V2GKm-YrI6g

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/arts-and-health/201606/art-making-and-stress-reduction

https://mindfulartstudio.com/meditate-through-art/

https://www.health.harvard.edu/mental-health/the-healing-power-of-art

If you would like to find a professional art therapist or dig deeper into what art therapy is:

https://arttherapy.org/ 

10 Minute Mindfulness Drawing Meditation Tutorial you can easily do at home: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0kcAFq7C_CA

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