The Crayon Initiative News

Written by Robin Andrew
on June 21, 2023

Did you know there’s a simple, affordable, and enjoyable way to improve your mental health and ease physical stress and anxiety? Art!

Art helps us cope with life's challenges and uncertainties. It’s one of the most accessible forms of therapy, available even to those who may have decreased physical, emotional, or mental abilities.

Art Helps You Process Emotions

When times get tough, it can be hard to express ourselves with words. You might not know how to articulate your feelings—or you might feel you have to say what you think other people want to hear.

But when our true emotions aren’t expressed, our bodies often go into a state of fight, flight, or freeze. This is a physiological reaction that can increase our heart rates, slow our digestion, and drive up feelings of anxiety or depression.

But engaging in art provides an outlet for releasing emotions that may be just below the surface. Art activities create safe spaces to process even our darker feelings—the kind that can seem scary to voice aloud.


Art Helps You Feel Connection

When we’re experiencing something that separates us from our loved ones—such as an illness, a loss, or a sudden life event—feelings of isolation can creep in, even when we’re surrounded by friends and family. Isolation can become so debilitating that even the National Institute of Health warns that problems can arise.

Group art activities provide social connection and the chance to share our inner lives without having to be the center of attention. Art activities on your own can also ease isolation as you feel a deeper connection to what you’re creating—and yourself.


Art Helps Decrease Stress and Increase Positivity

How many times have you been told to “try to stay positive” or “think good thoughts” when going through a challenge? This advice is well-intentioned, but there are a few issues.

Among them is the fact that it depends on you actively trying to make a difference in your own mind and body. When you’re in a dark time, often, it’s just too difficult to make that effort.

Art activities, however, naturally decrease cortisol levels, and the result is more positivity in the brain and body. Whether you’re coloring, painting, or even putting together a puzzle, the brain is occupied by that calming activity and less likely to feel the pressures or anxieties of life.


Art for All

The Crayon Initiative is an advocate for therapeutic art—especially for those undergoing health challenges and uncertain life circumstances. By providing crayons for children in hospitals, we’re helping them express their emotions, feel connection, and decrease stress in a healthy and fun way.

Sharing the healing power of art with the next generation is a huge part of our mission. If you want to help, please donate today to help us continue to create our specially designed recycled crayons!

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