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Mental health issues are diverse, specific and personal, and the ways we deal with them should take this into account. Talk therapy is the most common form of advice in the UK and it can be of tremendous benefit to so many people. But that’s not the only way to take care of your mental health.
Art and creative therapies are becoming increasingly popular as a way for people of all ages to relax and take care of themselves. It is about using artistic activities, such as painting, collage and creating sculptures, in a therapeutic environment with the support of a qualified professional to help you make sense of things and understand yourself better. It can also help you work through complicated feelings and find ways to communicate and express yourself.
Momtaz Begum-Hossain is a color therapist who uses art therapy to help people come to terms with and manage their mental health issues. âWe are looking at the benefits that color brings to different parts of our body, mind and soul,â says Momtaz.
You can practice art therapy techniques using any creative practice you want, whether it’s sketching, coloring, or some other art form. Most of the techniques used in art therapy are things you can do at home.
Art and color therapy is all about giving yourself time to relax in your feelings by making art and then seeing what kind of emotions come to fruition. âIt’s not about art at all,â Momtaz says, stressing that there should be no pressure on the final creation. âIt’s a matter of process. ”
You can reflect on your final work of art or abandon it altogether, but in any case it can be helpful to know the traditional meanings of each color so that you can determine which colors and emotions are particularly present in your life and which ones. missing.
The emotional meanings of primary colors
Momtaz assigns the following meanings to each primary color:
Red – strong, powerful, courageous and revitalizing
Blue – communicative and grounded
Yellow – uplifting, positive, healthy
An art therapy technique to try at home – the mood tracker
Here is an art therapy activity Momtaz suggests you try at home:
- Find something to inspire you on. It can be anything – a canvas, a piece of paper, or the back of a cereal box.
- Every day at a specific time, paint a line of color on your equipment. Choose the color according to how you feel.
- Do this for a month in order to track your mood.
- At the end of the month, use it to reflect on your month and see how your emotions have changed.
Another art therapy activity is simply giving yourself a prompt or a question. It can be as simple as, “How are you feeling today?” You can then respond to this prompt by getting creative: draw or paint something, then think about it afterward to think about how your artwork might help you explore your emotions more deeply.
Momtaz’s advice for starting art and chromotherapy at home
Art therapy doesn’t have to deal with your problems
You might think of traditional therapy as a way of trying to figure out how you’re feeling, but Momtaz explains that art therapy doesn’t work the same way. âRather than focusing on issues or issues like you might with a therapist, think of it as ‘time for me’ instead. It is you who take time for yourself to unwind, relax and be.
Set aside time to be creative
In order to truly relax, you need to know that you have time to be creative, so that you don’t worry about your to-do list or other things in life that might be causing you stress. âAllow an hour or two when you won’t be distracted and approach it with a sense of play, for example by playing with color, shapes or textures,â advises Momtaz.
Choose a form of creation that’s right for you
âChoose a medium that interests you. You don’t have to have tried it before, and there shouldn’t be any pressure to feel good, âsays Momtaz. âSo if you are going to paint, play with colors, mix and blend them, use different application methods like wide strokes, fine strokes, paint splashes, color overlays and even stripes on. surfaces. ”
âDon’t think too much,â she continues. âLet yourself be guided by your intuition and be spontaneous. Letting go of perfectionism may be the hardest part, but once you do, it becomes more satisfying.
Create a soundtrack to get creative
Momtaz suggests creating a playlist or putting in songs that will help you relax and feel creative. âMusic and art are usually combined as therapy and it will help you relax and get into the flow,â she says.
Invite yourself if you encounter a creative block
If you’re struggling to get started or come up with an idea, Momtaz recommends using a prompt to help you feel inspired. Ask yourself, “How are you feeling today?” She said, explaining that you can then paint how you feel.
React to your creation
âAt the end of the session, take the time to admire your creation. Look at it from different angles and ask yourself what you thought about it, how the process felt, what you enjoyed and the restrictions you felt, âsuggests Momtaz.
You can write your answers in a notebook, on scrap paper, or even on the back of your artwork to see how your art and feelings have progressed as you create your next pieces.
âThe artwork can be kept private, or you can name it, display it, and share it. It is entirely up to you.
If you, or someone you know, is worried about their mental health, you can find support and resources from the Mental Health Charity. the mind website, with NHS Every mind matters or access the NHS list of helplines and mental health organizations.
If you have mental health issues, you can also ask your doctor for a referral to NHS Talking Therapies, or you can refer yourself. For confidential assistance, you can also call the Samaritans in the UK at 116 123 or email email@example.com.
Momtaz Begum-Hossain, chromotherapist
Momtaz is an expert in chromotherapy and a modern color theorist. His third book Hello Rainbow: Light up your life and your mind with chromotherapy will be released in October 2021. She is the founder of the âHello Hueâ philosophy, a seven-point guide on how to use color to improve your mood and mental well-being. She also runs creative art workshops and offers color advice for brands.