The things you do with your hands have a direct and immediate effect on your brain. A good amount of therapies use crafts as a way to channel problematic emotions and feelings. And this isn’t in vain. It’s a fact that manual work predisposes us to more positive thoughts and attitudes.
Here you have a catalog of crafts that you can turn to when something is not working. They are a marvelous and simple kind of therapy. Through them, you will be able change the way you’re looking at the situation that causes you anguish.
“Beauty is the aesthetic expression of love.”
1. Lines for anger
For moments when you’re angry, there’s nothing better than drawing straight lines. Horizontal, vertical and diagonal. For every detail that goes through your mind and lights up your rage, make a line. You’ll see just how powerful the results can be.
2. Spirals for moving on
Draw spirals in order to overcome the feeling that you’re stuck and to get rid of the idea that there’s no way out, no clear cut path to follow. Use various colors and draw one over another, without thinking about it too much. Just let the spirals flow out of you…
3. Tear up your indignation
Anger sometimes has some very powerful bases, specially when you have been a victim of an injustice or you feel indignation over some concrete fact. In order to break up this indignation, the ideal thing is for you to take a piece of paper and tear it up into little pieces. As small as you can manage. You’ll see how this will make you feel better.
4. Draw grids to activate your concentration
If you feel scattered and unfocused, but you want to concentrate on a certain goal and achieve it, you can activate your attention by drawing grids, as perfectly as you can. Another option is to draw concentric circles, such as the circles of a target. Strive to be very detailed and you’ll see how your willpower will be enhanced.
5. Lift your spirits with landscapes
When you are feeling down and lacking energy, you can activate your vitality by drawing very colorful landscapes. Don’t worry about making the shapes perfect. Instead, focus on using many different hues of colors in the sky, the vegetation, the sea or whichever landscape you choose to paint or draw.
6. Self-portraits for confusion
Sometimes you don’t know what is making you upset, sad or angry. You also don’t know if you’re behaving appropriately or not. For those moments filled with confusion, in which you can’t seem to pinpoint what you feel, the ideal thing to do is draw a self-portrait.
Stand in front of a mirror and focus closely on the expression in your eyes, mouth and forehead. Try to capture these in your drawing. This exercise promotes self-perception. Crafts related to self-portraits help us gain knowledge about how we perceive ourselves.
7. Overcome uncertainty with collages
Like in the previous case, sometimes you find yourself confused, not about your feelings, but specifically about your desires. You’re faced with dilemmas and don’t know which path to take. You’re filled with confusion and uncertainty…
For these moments of indecision, collages are a great tool. Take some magazines and old newspapers and make a collage on some cardboard or poster board. Don’t think too much about the composition. Make it almost automatically. The collage itself will give you clues as to what decision to make.
8. Replicate to deal with disappointment
There are moments of disillusionment or disappointment in which crafts can be of great help to you. When you experience disillusion, take a famous painting that you like and try to replicate it by drawing it on a piece of paper. This will help you redirect your emotions.
9. Waves and circles for seemingly insolvable problems
If you have a problem which seems to have no solution, sit in front of a piece of paper and start drawing different colored waves and/or circles of varying lengths. Try to make each figure in a single stroke and, preferably, use cool colors. Repeat this process until a light appears at the end of the tunnel. Believe me: it will happen.
10. Mandalas for increased understanding
No matter how hard you try, there are some things you don’t understand. Be it the way to perform a task, a certain text or someone else’s behavior. Drawing mandalas or shapes full of arabesques will help you open up to understanding and comprehension. Take your time, seek relaxation and tranquility.
11. Rag dolls for anxiety
Who hasn’t received an unwelcome visit by those feelings of anxiety that leave you at the edge of desperation? There are many situations that lead to that annoying feeling of anxiety, that doesn’t seem to go away with anything.
Whenever you feel anxious, the best thing you can do is create a rag doll. The size doesn’t matter. It just has to be complete: with a head, body and extremities. Give it the shape you want and design an expression on the doll’s face. This type of craft will attract the serenity you need.
12. Face fear through knitting
When you’re afraid, it’s time to knit. Yes, knit. It doesn’t matter what method you use: it can be crochet, knitting with two needles, macrame, manual knitting, or any other technique. Knitting is an ancient activity, which also strengthens the confidence you have in your own skills. In knitting, just as in life, you unite several different threads until something new is formed.