5 Quick Stress Relief Techniques for Calming Creative Anxiety

Art therapy techniques for calming creative anxiety

The actual process of creating anything, raises a significant level of stress in most people. Do I have all the materials I am supposed to? Will I end up wasting all the eggs and milk I bought to put into this cake? Or my case, am I:

(1) structuring this blog in a way that you the user can read it efficiently and
(2) how do I literally make a blog on my creative stress?

This thing called creative anxiety is something creative types often experience so I researched (and did some soul searching) and came up with 5 quick stress relief techniques that could help me filter some of that energy that I knew stemmed from hindered creativity. Here are some techniques that you can do very quickly and efficiently to filter your inventive stress.

1. Squeeze a small amount of clay or slime between your fingers

All of those videos on the internet are viral for a reason. We experience something with the creator. We experience a imagination of the touch and feel of the slime or clay that they are using. Sometimes a change in textures is helpful to debunk the busy mind of a creative type. Rubbing something lumpy or soft brings odd sensations and helps sharpen our mind because our finger are busy and out of the way.

According to a study conducted by Dr. Kinman Nan’s, “a randomized control trial involving 106 participants diagnosed with depression and examined the effectiveness of clay as an intervention used in the context of art therapy to address depression.”

It goes on, “Patients in the clay art therapy (CAT) group, led by a qualified art therapist, demonstrated significant reductions in depression over the visual art (VA) control group that engaged in other, nondirected.”

Anxiety and depression closely correlate, so next time your feeling anxious give this a shot.

The point is to bring your self to the present moment or mindful which is the point of the next art therapy technique.

2.Drawing with your eyes closed

Sit down in a quiet place with a piece of paper and pen. Picture an image In your head. Maybe a flower. Got it? Now close your eyes and try to focus where the middle of the flowers is. Draw the pedals on the flower relative to the middle. Take your time. Focus on each shape and angle of the pedal. Now picture the stem and draw it, maybe add a few leaves. Now open your eyes. Chances are you have something on your page that looks nothing like a flower. However the image you produced is purely from the focus of your mind. on where your hand is on the page.

“Making something, even imperfectly is empowering because it’s an expression of the self.” Carrie Barron

Free your mind from the worry of the outcome. Just draw. You will most likely be surprised with the outcome you produce.

Exercises like this get you out of your own head because it helps you focuse intensely on imagery only you can provide.

If you like more sensory outlets then then next exercise is for you

3. Tear or fold a piece paper

I distinctly remember nauseous early high school mornings. Heading to my first class, wondering if I had missed an assignment due that day or have a pop quiz awaiting me surely showing I was a unprepared student.

So I sat there dreading the day fiddling with a piece of paper until muscle memory took over.

Paper hats! Something I learned in elementary school had surfaced and gave me an outlet to my exercise my fingers and thus, my anxiety.

I made tiny paper hats out of anything I could get my hands on. Gum wrappers, ripped corners of old homework, really anything that was not super important in my notes. My friends thought I was absolutely nuts but I’m sure that if I had any motor memory of some outstanding origami folds, I would have been doing those instead.

Tearing the paper could help filter some negative frustrations also, I just could not afford to be wasteful with my supplies.


4. Create a quick dump bubble

This website explains in much detail the process of the dump bubble. You basically want to draw a bubble like one that would be used for a comic book dialogue. Draw the bubble with a good amount of space to write in. Then open the timer on your phone and set it to one minute. Close you eyes and write down any emotion that enters your mind into the bubble.

This bubble represents your mind, and the writing your emotions onto a metaphor should help you to release the creative anxiety actually in your head.

We are so quick to judge ourselves so the minute timer is placed is to help you think on your feet and not focus on “rationalizing with the feeling.”

Alternatively, if you prefer to actually scream, this product might be right up your alley



5. Play with a fidget spinner or alternative fidget toy

One infamous trait of anxiety in creative types is the need to fiddle with fingers. Being someone who creates art, I have an urge to fiddle or even bite my nails frequently (nasty habit). For public settings, this is definitely the best option.

Editor Bruce Lee says, “Imagine that your brain is a family that needs to make an important decision. If the young children in the family aren’t occupied by toys, they may demand too much attention, interfering with decision making.” This is why sometimes it helps to have our fingers distracted so that our minds is more free.

This exercise is meant to give an outlet to that tendency of fighting and therefore perhaps relieve the anxiety itself.

This exercise is meant to give an outlet rather then heal the creative stress and in turn maybe relieving the anxiety itself.

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