The positive impact art has on our physical and mental is now beyond any doubt. Whether we are talking about how being exposed to visual art can help improve children’s cognitive abilities and can make them more tolerant or empathetic or about adults healing trauma through dance, drawing or theatre, art therapy is a powerful wellbeing tool.
At Geographics.com, we are madly in love with paper and Printable Stationery and we are always happy to find way of using it in new ways and what better way than helping people protect or recover their vitality and good health.
To prove the point, a team of researchers from the University of Arkansas have looked at the impact of art focused school trips – like a visit to the art museums or viewing a theatre play – and have been able to show that “exposure to the arts also affects the values of young people, making them more tolerant and empathetic. We suspect that their awareness of different people, places, and ideas through the arts helps them appreciate and accept the differences they find in the broader world.” (Jay P. Greene, professor of education reform at the University of Arkansas).
There are also a lot of proven benefits on adults: from using dance to express emotions in a healthy and safe way to the now popular coloring books for adults as a way of reducing stress and stimulating brain areas associated with motor skills and creativity. The psychologist Luis Rojas Marcos says “coloring comforts us, gives us peace, and lets us enjoy ourselves – it even temporarily frees us from daily pressures. Although coloring a couple of hours does not eliminate all problems and worries, it takes us away and relieves us from the stress that overwhelms us.”
To help you stay heathy, we are sharing 2 easy and calming exercise ideas:
- Make Your Own Traffic Sign
Benefits: Use the exercise when you need to make a difficult choice or when you are feeling disempowered or confused about next steps in solving a problem or dealing with a tough situation.
Materials: Royal Brites Poster Board, scissors, markers.
- Take a moment and think of all of the road signs you have seen and choose one that describes a positive direction you would like to go towards. You can change the wording to something that is more specific to you.
- Decide on the shape you want your sign to be and then cut the Poster Board into that shape.
- Using your markers, create your personal road sign and, on the back, write down a detailed explanation of where or what the sign is directing you to do.
- Place the sign where you can see it easily and revisit until the issue is resolved.
- “Thank You Cards” Exercise
Benefits: It shifts the focus from the negative aspects in your life or from a current problem that is a source of stress to a more positive state where feeling grateful can help become calmer and more balanced.
Materials: Blank Cards, markers, pens, pencils, collage materials, glue sticks, postage stamps, and envelopes.
- Sit quietly and think about three people in your life that have had a positive contribution, people are grateful for.
- Think of images, colors, words, which come up that are associated with these people – positive memories, things you have learned from them, etc.
- Using all available materials, create personalized thank you cards – you can use cut-out images, drawings and text to share your feelings and express appreciation and gratitude for about each person.
- Place the cards in the envelopes – feel free to personalize the envelopes also. You can send or hand them them to each person for their birthday or for Christmas.
We hope you find these exercises helpful – enjoy and stay happy and healthy!