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How Art Heals: An Art Journal Can Improve Your Well-being

Doing simple artistic activities can make a massive difference to your well-being. It is common knowledge that everyone needs a space: not just a “personal space” that can set your boundaries for people; but also the type of space where you can release your feelings and emotions without having the fear of being judged. These days, you might have (and if you haven’t, you’re missing out) heard or seen art journals online. Though this type of journal goes way back, it became more popular due to the COVID-19 pandemic where most people have too much free time on their hands. And this became popular for good reasons. For starters, having an art journal not only allows you to express your creativity but also gives you the chance to cope with your suppressed emotions. Such can decrease stress and make you happier. So in this article, we’ll delve deeper into the world of art journaling and how art heals by having your own creative space.


A photo of white and green happy birthday cards

Remember the times when you were younger and you used to keep a secret diary under your bed? It was a safe space where you were allowed to confess all your secrets, emotions, and struggles without fear that someone is judging you. Well, art journaling is almost the same thing only that there’s a creative flair added to it. 


What is an Art Journal?

An art journal is like a typical journal notebook. However, it has an added creative flair to it because you can incorporate colors, pictures, patterns, and any other things that you like. It is a mixed-media type of art because you can use more than two mediums. Having an art journal is a great way to exercise your creative muscles while improving your artistic sensibilities at the same time. Thus, it allows you to create without intimidating you due to the size of the surface and it is also your preference as to whether you want to share it with others or not.


A photo of a white and green floral greetings card


How Do You Start an Art Journal?

The steps to starting an art journal depend on what type of journal you’re planning to pursue. But of course, you have to start with your supplies that can be purchased from the arts and crafts store. If you want to get inspiration, you can check the internet, especially YouTube to help you get started. But make sure you start one because many people are hooked on watching Art Journal process ASMRs (satisfying videos) without trying it themselves.

Everything you put in is based on your preferences: what materials, themes, type of notebook (or you can even create your own notebook to recycle paper), etc.

To really enjoy journaling, you have to be original as much as possible. It’s not bad to look up online for inspiration but the main point of starting your journal is to heal your wounded emotions.


A photo of an artist with a painted spectrum in a notebook



How Art Heals through Creative Journaling

Many professionals, especially psychologists, have been studying how art heals. It has been a recent trend in the field of research and psychology to study the connection between art and mental health. These days, the incorporation of art into everyday life to improve mental well-being is called art therapy and we’ll delve further to see if it actually works.

Do you ever feel like a can of soda ready to explode any minute? Our emotions are sometimes complex so we find it hard to express them through words. It’s even harder to vent it to other people. By immersing yourself in creative pursuits like art journaling, you allow yourself to release emotions such as sadness and anger. You’re not only releasing all of those feelings, but you’re also coping healthily. 

 
A photo of a girl dressed in a red and white clothing in a heart book


The Therapeutic Benefits of Art Journaling

While some artists create pieces of art to represent how beautiful life is, some, on the other hand, create art to show pain and trauma. And there is nothing wrong with that. Why? The process of how art heals differs from person to person and it’s not a one-size-fits-all scenario. Doing creative activities such as art journaling also allows you to combat stress and anxiety by creating a connection between your mind and body which promotes healing of your emotional wounds and trauma. 

Using art as a means of therapy allows you to leverage your emotions and turn them into a creative masterpiece that other people can also relate to, especially when you show bits of your journal to others. You’re not only showing a beautiful creation, but you’re also sending a message to them that they’re not alone. Such a message is needed by most people, especially in times like these. 


A daylight photo taken of a book held in a hand of a lady and some writings close to a palm tree



The Scientific Evidence of How Art Heals

A study conducted in Harvard Research regarding how art heals revealed that creative expression of emotions and trauma relieves stress, anxiety, and depression. Thus, it also comes with other cognitive benefits such as improved memory, and critical thinking skills. Moreover, it helps in making people stay resilient, especially in trying times. By allotting time every day to fill a page on your art journal, you allow yourself to heal through art. We hope that this article inspires you to start your own journal. 

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