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Day 1 of 30 Days of Create with Gina

Art therapy life coach, artist, photographer, designer—Gina believes that the purpose of the arts is to enrich and heal lives.

Stress-Relieving Art Therapy Activity


What is Art Therapy?

"Art therapy is a distinct discipline that incorporates creative methods of expression through visual art media. Art therapy, as a creative arts therapy profession, originated in the fields of art and psychotherapy and may vary in definition.". Wikipedia

What's a Doodle?

By most definitions, doodling refers to the unconscious or unfocused drawings made, usually when you're preoccupied with doing something else.

However, I don't agree with that definition.

Over the years, with teaching art, I have often used doodling as an intentional art lesson, to help stir creativity in my students, and to help them to use their intuition more.

I do understand that many people resort to doodling as a place of escape—from boredom waiting at yet another airport gate, a distraction during a long-winded lecture, or a way to pass time at a meeting, but doodling itself can be a very purposeful action that is more than mindlessness.

A Very Intentional Doodle


Reasons to Do This Exercise

  • Looking for a creative way to relax.
  • Having trouble sitting still to meditate
  • No painting skill or experience necessary
  • You have a desire to relax and become more creative.
  • It is a very natural form of self-care.

Let Out What is Going On Inside of You!

When you doodle, you help your mind tap into deeply held emotions and bring them to the surface. Over time, this promotes psychological homeostasis, much in the same way that dream therapy does

This method is all about feeling at several levels.

Do not ignore any emotion that you might be feeling. Feed it into your doodle.

Also, feed into your doodle how you want to be feeling. Negative or stressful energy can flow out onto the paper, or positive, relaxing, healing energy from what was painted can be brought inward.

Which way you choose will be up to you and what your are feeling at the moment. Generally, if you are feeling very unsettled or anxious - express what you are feeling. If you are experiencing low energy, boredom or no direction, you need to bring uplifting energy in.


Benefits of This Exercise

1.It may help to release the emotions inside of you.

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2. It can encourage self-discovery.

3. It's great for anxiety.

4. It's great for releasing stress.

5. It may encourage laughter.

6. It's a great outlet for creativity.

7. It helps with focus and concentration.

Doodling is a great tool for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)


What You Need

  • A piece of white paper. You can choose the size.
  • Pencil
  • Colored pencils or markers
  • Soothing music

Other suggestions:

  • Watercolor pencils
  • Water

Step 1: Close Your Eyes and Draw an Overlapping, Continuous Line on the Sheet of Paper.


Step 1 Instructions

1. Turn on some soothing, relaxing music, or whatever turns you on.

Get out your favorite music to uplift you. If upbeat music gets you going, go with that.

If you prefer, go with soothing music to calm you. Go with whatever you need at the moment.

Instrumentals will work best, because music with lyrics can be distracting and get you into a thinking mode, and possibly make you a little down, especially if that piece of music is associated with a rough period in your life.. The idea is to turn off that process and let the music activate the feeling process. I personally prefer easy listening, classical or new age music to relax when I am doing this exercise..

2. Place your pencil on the sheet of paper.

3.. Close your eyes and just allow the pencil to glide over the paper, as you listen to the music, trying to keep it on the paper. Allow overlapping, as that will make for a more appealing outcome.

4. Feel into the music.

5. Stop after about 20-30 seconds. If you feel you need to do more after looking at the paper, then close your eyes again, and continue for a few more seconds. There is no right or wrong here.

Step 2: Take a Minute to Reflect on What You Are Feeling in Your Body

  • Take a minute to reflect on what you are feeling and where you feel it in your body.
  • Ask yourself a few questions: Do you feel the need to release tension or bring uplifting energy in?
  • Do you feel a build up of stress or not enough positive energy?

Step 3: What Images Do You See In Your Line Drawing? Feel Free to Enhance those.


Step 4: Start to Pour Your Emotions Onto the Doodle.

  • Fill in the spaces with the emotions that you might be feeling.
  • Feel them all. Don't ignore some because you feel that they are too negative.
  • Spend some time with each emotion, if you need to. Cry if you need to. There is no right or wrong way to experience this activity.

Take some time after you are finished to sit and look at your drawings. Take time to appreciate what you did. Do you see surprising shapes and forms that you find appealing?

Step 5: Completed Art Meditation, Enhanced With Drawing and Other Doodles and Line Drawings


Step 6: Reflect on What You Drew.

Once your painting/drawing is finished, take some time to look at it and reflect on what you created.

Did the process lower your stress level or raise your energy to a positive state?

If it didn't and you have the time, try another painting.

This is an activity that you can do on a daily basis to help with stress levels.

Remember that there is no right or wrong result to this activity.

More details can be found in the video.

Fancy doodling


So, do you doodle?

Another Take on the Scribbles into Masterpieces: Stress-Relieving Meditation

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2021 Gina Welds


manatita44 from london on March 27, 2021:

Pretty instructional programme. Your art work is beautiful, as always. Wish you success.

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