How Sydney’s Group Art Therapy Courses Are Curing Depression

Winston Churchill, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1940 to 1945, bore the seemingly insurmountable task of leading the Allies to victory during the second world war. With that sort of pressure on his shoulders, people are surprised to discover that he made time for painting as a hobby. In his novel “Painting as a Pastime”, Churchill outlines how having a hobby to sink his mind into helped his ability to cope with his reality. If someone leading a nation during a time of global war had time to paint, so do you.

How Can Art Improve Mental Health?

Many people who use art as an outlet say that they turned to their hobby as a means of expressing themselves and their bottled up emotions. Recent studies have shown that art therapy is highly beneficial for individuals suffering from post traumatic stress disorders, anxiety, depression and even dimentia. For this reason, therapists and healthcare professionals alike often encourage their patients to take up art as a hobby to explore their thoughts. 

Why is Group Art Therapy Beneficial? 

Loneliness (in combination with a low self esteem) is one of the most common causes of depression. To counteract this issue, group art therapy courses are increasing in popularity due to the added social benefits in combination with art. With that being said, some of the most common health benefits involved in group art therapy are:

  1. Self-actualisation – the ability for one to express themselves is incredible for self discovery. Creating art can help you explore your emotions without having to explain yourself with words. 
  2. Anxiety-relief – by taking your mind off your daily work life and applying yourself to a creative endeavour that is both challenging and rewarding, it can become a great outlet for processing anxiety. 
  3. Social-life – everyone is trying to find their tribe. If you have a passion for art (or you’re working towards developing one) being creative and like-minded individuals is a great way to connect with others. 

Do I Need to be Good at Art to Join an Art Therapy Course? 

Absolutely not. Art therapy courses are available to all levels of expertise. Although some people may be more experienced than others, the underlying purpose of group art therapy courses is for a sense of community and self expression. Hence, if you’re worried that you’re not good enough; you’re missing the point. 

Where Can I Find Art Therapy Courses in Sydney? 

If you’re having trouble finding courses in Sydney that’ll suit you, we recommend visiting Mindkshetra at: https://www.mindkshetra.com/. Their courses cover all different levels of ability and have room for anyone interested in getting involved in group art therapy. Enquire on their website or give them a call to find out more information. 

Where Do I Go For More Information?  

If we haven’t been able to answer any of your questions in this article, we recommend watching YouTube channels like ‘The American Art Therapy Association’. They have a lot of great information on art therapy as a neuroscience and the health benefits associated with picking up a creative outlet. If you have any further questions, leave a comment and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible. 

5 Tips for Stressing Less and Leading a Healthier Lifestyle

17 million people die from cardiovascular disease every year. I repeat, ’17,000,000 people lose their life to heart-related conditions every year that are possible to be avoided. Being caught in the 9 to 5 rat race isn’t worth losing your life over. For people working tirelessly in high-pressure managerial roles, they oftentimes aren’t even aware of the serious health issues linked to their heightened stress. When it comes to taking back control of your health you shouldn’t spare any expenses. In this article we’re going to outline 5 tips for reducing stress and leading a healthier lifestyle. 

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1. Prioritise Sleep

Studies are showing that sleep deprivation is closely tied to depression, anxiety, cancers and other serious diseases. Yet, you might be surprised to know that over a quarter of Americans report that they don’t think they’re getting enough sleep. Between the years of 2009 and 2013, over 72,000 collisions and 800 deaths on the road were caused by drowsy driving. With that in mind, here’s a few tips and tricks for improving your quality of sleep:

  • install ‘Pillow’ on your Smartphone: This app tracks the quality of your sleep to help you get an analytical perspective on how much sleep you’re missing every night. After gathering your data, you’ll be giving yourself a clear understanding on what you need to rectify.
  • Investing in a higher quality pillow: You might be surprised to know that the comfort of your pillow plays a substantial role in your quality of sleep. This is because the positioning of your neck when you’re sleeping is imperative for neck posture and opening up your airways. 
  • See a doctor: If you feel that you’re suffering from sleep apnea or excessive snoring, the best thing you can do is see a doctor. Your practitioner will be able to help you determine whether or not you require surgery to open up your airways. Although it might seem daunting, helping your body recharge it’s batteries at night is beyond important for physical and mental health. 

2. Mindfulness, Meditation & Yoga

For some, paying attention to mindfulness seems like a waste of time. However, mindful practices such as yoga and meditation are clinically proven to relieve stress, lower blood pressure, reduce muscle pain, alleviate digestive pain and mitigate heart conditions. According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, in the United States alone heart disease is the cause of one in every four deaths. To put that in perspective, every forty seconds an American dies from an underlying heart condition, contributing to over 655,000 deaths per year in the United States alone. 

If you’re leading a high-stress lifestyle, getting your anxiety under control. The goal with mindfulness, meditation and yoga is to get your breathing under control to open up your respiratory system and reduce tension in your arteries. If you happen to be in Queensland, Within U are widely renowned for their spiritual healing Brisbane. Their training may be able to assist you in taking back control of your health. 

3. Take a Holiday

When was the last time you had a prolonged break? If your anxiety is at an all-time-high, it might be a sign that you need to take a proper vacation. Oftentimes, people who are highly anxious and paranoid are not exactly sure what they’re stressed about. This sensation is often related to diet and lack of exercise. Although COVID19 restrictions are preventing overseas travel, if you’re living in Queensland there are a myriad of attractive options for a holiday destination along the East Coast. If you’re living in other parts of the world that aren’t as fortunate, make sure you browse around for an option that suits what you require. In any case start looking into taking some time off, you’ll thank yourself later. 

4. Get Outdoors

Although it’s one of the most commonly overlooked aspects of health, ensuring that you’re getting enough sunlight throughout your week is a catalyst to a healthier lifestyle. In congruence with the first point in this article, by exposing your skin to sunlight your body produces a hormone called melatonin that is invaluable for a higher quality of sleep. In addition to producing vitamin D, studies have shown that getting sunlight strengthens your immune system, wards off depression, helps you live longer, improved bone density and even contributes to weight loss. In simpler terms, get yourself outside and soak in some sunlight!

5. Watch Your Diet More Carefully 

If you’re a smoker, quit as soon as possible. 480,000 deaths in the United States are a result of smoking or second hand smoke, Studies are now demonstrating how diet is just as large a contributor to mental health as it is to physical health. An unhealthy diet is directly correlated to increased levels of depression, anxiety and other serious underlying health issues. It might be difficult to swap out that weekly chicken burger every week for a salad, but if you can manage to break a few bad habits here and there you’ll surprise yourself with how exponentially you can turn your health around. There’s no ‘one size fits all’ for dietary requirements. Pay attention to what it is that makes you feel the most alive and stick with that. 

Where Do I Go From Here? 

With all of these tips in mind, do everything you can to align your lifestyle in a way that compliments a healthier way of living. Pay more attention to your sleep, start meditation or sign up for a class in yoga, take a break, get outdoors, get some sunlight and start to pay more attention to your diet. With a myriad of health services available, rest assured knowing that help is available if you need it, whether it be physically or mentally. At the end of the day, money is futile if you’re on your deathbed.