Hitting the Reset Button With Art This School Year

How Creating Art Decreases Anxiety and Increases Productivity in Students

There’s no doubt that it's never been harder to be a successful student. With the combination of the pandemic and the quarantining it caused a lot of students to struggle over the past year. Well if you, or your child, had difficulty studying the past year you aren’t alone. The anxiety and depression that the shift in the world in response to Covid 19 has been enormously psychologically draining for a great number of us. If you want to find a way to reset the mind in a healthy way that can lead to increases in your or your child’s ability to concentrate then check out the article below to find out why creating art might be just the lifehack you are looking for this school year. In fact, it can be an especially beneficial outlet considering that 60% of US students are worried about their financial situation.

Even things like journaling, writing, and reading for pleasure can help you reduce stress and increase mindfulness.

Creating Art Helps Practice Several Important Skills All at Once

It’s About More Than Just Self Expression

There's no donut that the self expression that creating art allows plays an important role in why it's good for you. But there are actually several other reasons that art allows you to be more proficient in other areas of your life. Since the process of creating is a process of trial and error it helps an individual build coping skills. When you first don’t succeed in art you simply try again. And this allows you to get used to “failures” in a low risk way. In this way a person can learn that although things don’t always work out the first time, if they try again and keep practicing they  will keep getting better. In this way the creative process allows you to brainstorm all of your ideas and find which of them you think is the best.

This becomes an invaluable skill in your adult life as you will often have to be able to pick from the best of several options. By allowing you to fail in a low risk environment, the artistic process allows you to learn how to succeed on your own. Nobody decides if your art came out good in your eyes other than you. In this way you begin to understand how feelings of success and accomplishment come from within and you become less reliant on the adulation of others and learn how to build your own framework for success.

Not all art has to be photorealistic or even of something. You can create whatever you want to and express yourself however you want to.

About That Self Expression Aspect

It Plays An Important Role Too

Since the creative process allows a person to brainstorm many different thoughts and ideas about what to do, and what to do next, the artistic process often allows us an increased feeling of mindfulness. Mindfulness helps people increase their attention to something and develop awareness of their thoughts and feelings without judgement. This allows them to relieve a large amount of stress and anxiety. And creating art allows the same process to occur as a meditative session produces. In this way art can be used to alleviate your overall feelings of stress and anxiety, as well as help you prioritize and analyze your thoughts better when you do find yourself in a high stress situation such as a test or exam.

Making art can be a great way for students to hit the reset button and do better in school.

Art Helps You Consciously and Unconsciously

When You Create, All Of You Creates, Not Just Your Conscious Mind

Art also allows us to process emotions other than stress and anxiety more efficiently. It doesn’t really matter what kind of art you decide to create, it will give you an outlet to express emotions in a way you might even mean to do intentionally. See, so much of our thought process is subconscious that you might be feeling something that you are not even aware of. Sometimes this can be something that you are struggling with in your subconscious and it's taking up space in your brain that could be better utilized.

So by going through the creative process and allowing yourself to be expressive, you are able to allow your brain to cope with things on both a conscious and subconscious level and that allows your brain to get things off its plate so to speak. So that way when you go to study or take your exam, your brain isn’t dedicating a whole bunch of energy to some emotion you haven’t dealt with or are just refusing to deal with. By dealing with the emotion through the creation of art you allow yourself to focus more of your mind’s attention on the subject at hand and this will make your studying a much more fruitful endeavor.

This school year try to find the form of art you find the most enjoyable to create. If you enjoy it, you will do it more and experience a greater feeling of reset.

There are even more ways that art can be of a huge benefit to yours or your child’s brain. Even something as simple as coloring (yes even for adults) has been shown to reduce the amount of stress and anxiety a person feels. But the creation of art can be anything you want. Keeping a journal is creating art, dancing is creating art, coloring is creating art, drawing is creating art, painting is creating art, and singing is creating art. Anything you do that you do for an expressive purpose can be creating art.

But if you want to try to use art to reset your brain this year, my advice is to pick one that you enjoy doing, but there’s a good chance you will have to do it all the time, so if you pick something you don’t enjoy you will quickly burn yourself out on it and will lose your motivation to do it and then you won’t enjoy any of the benefits you could be. You’ll want it to be something you can do on a regular basis for the course of the school or at least the semester at a minimum. So try a few different creative outlets you haven’t before and see what really clicks with you. You can’t go wrong when you are expressing yourself.

Anthony Stockton
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