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The SpringHillian

Fallen Tree on Campus
April 22, 2024
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Using Creativity to Reduce Stress and Anxiety

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“College will be the best time of your life” is a phrase many college students have likely heard before. While this can be true, it is also a time of life that is full of change, stress and anxiety for many students. 

A survey conducted by Statista in Fall of 2018 shows that 29.5% of college students reported that they had felt overwhelming anxiety at least once in the past two weeks. Over half of surveyed students reported that they had on at least one occasion felt too depressed to function. Statista attributes these depressive states and overwhelming periods of anxiety to the “stressful changes in environment, responsibilities, and roles” which can contribute to and exacerbate mental health issues. 

While these statistics may seem staggering, studies are showing that there is a very simple way to help overcome the stress and anxiety you may feel: finding your artistic outlet. The Sage Neuroscience Center states that Art Therapy has been around for years and is an effective stress reliever, as art is capable of “allowing many people to process emotions and reduce stress.” The goal of art therapy is to allow the struggling person to relax until they are able to tap into their emotions. Simply coloring is enough to exponentially drop your stress levels. Madison Heflin, Mental Health Counselor at the Spring Hill College Wellness Center, says that “Creative hobbies are an evidence based coping mechanism for reducing stress and anxiety. Engaging in a hobby can be a form of self care which is correlated with better mental health.”

I believe that one of the greatest aspects of art therapy is that you don’t have to be an artist. Even if it is only for a brief period of time, art therapy allows a person to get their mind off of stressors and relax. I personally turn to art to give myself an outlet of expressing emotions that can’t be put into words. By taking the opportunity to tune out the world around you and paint your emotions on canvas, write them in a journal or snap them in a picture. You are allowing yourself the ability to express emotion in a healthy way, which will positively impact your overall mental health. 

So pop in your headphones, pick up your tool of choice and tune the world out for a few minutes! 

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