Ways Religious Art Therapy Can Help Improve Mental Health

Posted by Carol Corneliuson on

Healing From Stress and Other Challenges

When the challenges of life feel overwhelming, many people turn to their faith to support them. Prayer, meditation, and bonding with fellow believers can all help you cope with serious illness, natural disasters, or loss. People often discover a latent creative drive that they never knew they had through art therapy. Art therapy is promoted as a viable treatment for many disorders relating to mental health. This therapy can be secular in nature, but many experts provide religious inspiration during the sessions for even greater results.

Sick Kids Dealing With Stress

It's hard to deal with cancer or leukemia as an adult, but the burden is even harder for a child to manage. The International Art Therapy Organization says that creating art helps the children relieve stress and feel normal again. A child can go without play for months or even years after experiencing the rigors of painful and exhausting treatments to resolve illness. Drawing and painting gives them an outlet to explore their feelings and have fun without leaving their hospital bed.

Addiction and Overcoming

There are numerous substances and unhealthy habits that people turn to when stress and pain overwhelm them. Digital Journal reports that art therapy is immensely helpful when supporting people who are trying to break the control of an addiction that has ruined their lives (http://www.digitaljournal.com/pr/1131250). While this often includes expressive art forms like dance and musical performance, it also features appreciation of the art of others. Many people enjoy religious art the most. The link to their faith also provides additional support in the fight against a serious drug, alcohol, or behavior addiction.

Emotional Disturbances and Art Therapy

Stress from work or school can cause a deep emotional issue to erupt suddenly, taking over the life of an individual. The power of art often helps people gain control over their anger, depression, or anxiety says The International Art Therapy Organization (http://www.internationalarttherapy.org/medical.html). When trauma or emotional pain causes a disruption in the normal routine of your life, it's helpful to find a center by exploring your feelings through an art form.

Many people struggling with minor issues already do this unknowingly by picking up a guitar or writing poetry in a private journal.

Expression Issues and Communication Through Art

Both children and adults can have serious issues expressing their emotions, even if they were raised by a family that fostered open communication. Teenagers can feel that they will be mocked when trying to discuss feelings about their parents divorcing. The Herald-News explains that it also works well for individuals on the autism spectrum that struggle with processing emotions (http://heraldnews.suntimes.com/lifestyles/18227303-423/using-art-to-help-grieve.html). There's no need to find the right words when you're expressing your sadness or grief through a visual or auditory art form.

Chronic Illness, Exhaustion & Uplifting Art

When pain and fatigue become a part of your daily routine, the lack of a cure can cause you to question how you will handle the rest of your life. Art therapy has been used to help people have more control over physical and emotional pain, and it can give people with low energy an outlet that won't leave them even tireder. You don't need to be fully disabled by a specific disorder to enjoy the benefits of religiously themed art exploration. This is especially helpful if the development of a serious illness has caused you to question your faith. Impromptu art therapy carried out under your own direction can be just as helpful as professional treatment.

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