Stress has become an everyday occurrence in our lives, whether we like it or not. What with the fast-paced life that we have all grown into, it seems like something that can’t be avoided. However, there are many ways to deal with stress – some more fun than others.

A few weeks ago, I was invited to a Paintstorm event. Developed by Prerna Chhabria, Viren Chhabria, and sisters Aanchal and Sanjana Bubber, Paintstorm mixes, people, art and good food and drink, to create a fun night out.

It’s hosted at popular bars & cafes across Mumbai every month. You arrive at the venue, the painting supplies are handed to you and then you are led through the process by the four hosts. By the end of the evening, you’ve created a work of art and, if you’re anything like me, you’ll be surprised at just how creative you can be when guided the right way.

01 painting away stress

Although Paintstorm doesn’t claim to be anything of the sort, the entire exercise serves as a form of casual art therapy. While it’s recommended that you see a professional art therapist to avail of the entire experience, there are several benefits to art that can be of use to the average person who isn’t in need of professional therapy, but seeks an outlet to rid themselves of their daily stress.

 

It Allows You to Reconnect With Yourself

For people who have trouble expressing themselves, art can be a channel to find their voice and explore what’s really on their minds. Pravin Madur, who volunteers as an Expressive Art Therapy Facilitator at Happy Feet Home – a hospice for children with terminal illness – says, “Most of the time we don’t know what we’re feeling. There may be a gamut of feelings that you may experience at any given moment without you being aware of it. At times like this, you can use art as a medium of expression to understand yourself better.”

 

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It Helps You Connect With Other People

Modern living gives you very little time for yourself, let alone other people. Often, we become so involved with the details of our life that we fail to acknowledge others around us. Working together in a group provides us with a chance to bond with others over a common interest or activity. A group art project can quickly transform into a thoroughly enjoyable session and a chance to make some new friends.

 

02 painting away stress

 

It’s An Effective Stress-Buster

Don’t be surprised if you find your stress melting away while painting; after all, it’s still a form of therapy even if it does entail something you never thought could be therapeutic – art. “Stress is often a manifestation of physical or mental anxiety that is produced through the work day. A creative outlet allows you to explore your feelings and discover what’s weighing on you. Once you know what’s causing the stress, you can address the problem,” says Pravin.

 

It Improves Overall Well-being

Art therapy is a form of expressive therapy that utilises the process of creation to improve one’s physical, mental and emotional well-being. How good an artist you think you are has very little to do with how effective art can be at improving your life. So go on and give it a try, you never know what you might discover about yourself in the process.

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Images Courtesy: Facebook/Paintstorm

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