Many Americans are now living very sedentary lives, especially if they work in an office setting. While it has been proven that sitting all day isn’t good for your body, it can be much worse if you suffer from chronic back pain or even just a stiff back from sitting for too long. According to Forbes, fewer than 20 percent of jobs include any kind of physical activity, and many people spend at least 4 hours each day sitting at a desk. So what can you do to make this large amount of time more bearable on your aching back?
Try More Cushioning
When working in an office environment, it’s hard to avoid sitting for a large portion of the day. While many people are now promoting the benefits of standing desks as opposed to sitting desks, there still will be times where you’re required to sit, whether that’s in meetings or other circumstances. When you’re required to sit, try adding some extra cushioning to your seat. According to this blog post from Pillow Perfect, a website that distributes indoor and outdoor pillows, “Place a small pillow behind your back for lumbar support or at your feet as a foot rest.” This will make the impact of your body on the seat not as pronounced, decreasing any back pain you feel from sitting for extended periods of time.
Recline in Your Chair
The features of your chair can make a huge difference in how comfortable you are, especially if you have back problems. To get the most out of your chair, look for one that has good lumbar support and the option to recline. If you can recline your chair, WikiHow advises angling your chair back 135 degrees. This will put the least amount of stress on your back, relieving any pain you are prone to experiencing. However, if you don’t have the option to tilt your chair back, just make sure you aren’t slouching forward; this is one of the worst positions you could be in if you suffer from chronic back pain.
While this won’t necessarily make your seat any more comfortable while you’re sitting, moving around for a few minutes each hour will help your back not stiffen up as much. MindBodyGreen.com suggests getting up from your sitting position once every hour at the very least. While this may seem like a lot of time to spend away from your desk and your work, the activities don’t have to take you away from your work space. Simply stretching your legs and back will help to keep your pain at bay. If you can, walk around the office for a few minutes, get a drink of water, or stop by the restroom. Changing your position at regular intervals will help release some of the tension in your back muscles and make sitting not as excruciating.
Next time you feel back pain coming on while you are in the office or at your desk, try some of these tips to relax your back, ease that nasty tension, and sit more comfortably.
Warm weather and summer will be here before you know it and it’s time to start whipping your body into shape. If you want to be confident in your bikini body, you need to focus on staying fit, not just dieting and weight loss. The secret to toning your body to beach-ready perfection this summer is a combination of fitness, dieting, and skin care.
1. Combine HIIT and Cardio
Everyone knows one of the best ways to lose weight is through cardio, but that’s not the only way. Though you should continue to work cardio into your fitness routine, also consider adding high intensity internal training (HIIT), which has become an extremely popular way to target and burn fat. Not only that, but HIIT workouts will help you target the muscles you really need to shape up before summer, such as your butt, thighs, and belly. Start any workout by warming up with a few of the following moves:
- Lunges-10 reps per leg
- Side Lunges-10 reps each direction
- High Knees-30 seconds
- Touch Toes-15 reps
- Butt Kicks-30 seconds
- Trunk Twists-20 reps
- Side Bends-20 reps
- Arm Circles-20 reps
Now, adhere to a weekly schedule in which you alternate cardio and HIIT workouts. For example, your personal schedule could look something like this:
- Monday-Run-30 minutes, crunches-15 reps
- Tuesday-HIIT workout, alternating between 30-second jogs and 15 second sprints for a total of 15 minutes
- Wednesday- Cycling-45 minutes, jump rope-5 minutes
- Thursday-HIIT workout, alternating between 30-second jogs and 15 second sprints for a total of 15 minutes.
- Friday-Regular weight training
- Saturday and Sunday- Rest
As a side note, try to keep your heart rate at 65-75 percent of your max heart rate during jogging and 90-95 percent during sprints. Keeping your heart rate in these target zones is an excellent indicator that you’re burning calories where it counts.
Keep with a schedule like this for quick results that will get you looking great in time for summer. If you’re consistent, you should see definitive results in your fat reduction and muscle toning within 2 to 3 weeks.
2. Not All Calories are Equal
When it comes to dieting, remember that calories do count, but not all calories are created equal. Calories made from sugars and other packaged products won’t do anything to boost your metabolism or curb your hunger. Plenty of fruits and vegetables will help you to stay full longer while providing the fat-burning nutrients you need to get in shape for summer.
Saying goodbye to some of these delicious foods won’t be easy, but if you have the right recipes, you can enjoy delicious foods that will keep you fuller longer without adding unwanted fat to your body. Also, remember that you should never go hungry, as this makes it easier for you to indulge in empty calories. If you feel you need to eat, make sure you grab a healthy snack. Consider creating daily meal plans to help you stay away from empty calories and added fats and sugars. Here’s an example to get you started.
- Breakfast: 3 scrambled eggs and 1 large grapefruit
- Mid-morning snack: 1 serving almonds (20-25 almonds)
- Lunch: Turkey wrap and apple
- Snack: 1 stick string cheese
- Dinner: Chicken Parmesan (dipped in egg and parmesan/seasonings only), one sweet potato, and a side salad with 2 TBS of olive oil/vinegar dressing
At the end of the day, fat loss happens when you burn more calories than you consume. You can work out all day long, but if you aren’t conscious of your calorie intake, you won’t get any closer to achieving your aspirations.
One thing to consider if you want assistance with appetite suppression or boosting your metabolism is increasing your caffeine intake, or taking nutritional supplements that contain caffeine. There are a myriad of choices on the market for weight loss supplements; but the one thing that is critical, according to supplement manufacturer BikiniBod, is choosing the right formula with safe ingredients that work synergistically to address both metabolic enhancement and appetite suppression.
3. Drink Water
The best way to eliminate body fat is to limit your drinks to water or tea, and cut out sugary, unhealthy drinks. These might include juice, soda, and energy drinks. Water can also help you to cleanse your body of toxins, and help keep you healthy enough for regular exercise.
Make a goal starting today to up your water intake. You’ve probably heard the rule that you should drink 8 glasses of water a day, but it’s not always easy to remember, and some people need more than that to be truly healthy.
Instead, make a goal based on your weight. You should drink half your body weight in ounces each day. For example, a woman who weighs 150 pounds should shoot for 75 ounces of water a day. That’s a little more than two liters of water, or the equivalent of filling up a 24 ounce water bottle three times.
4. Care for Your Skin
Winter weather is brutal on the skin, drying it out and leaving it scaly. Before summer hits, add some much needed moisture to your skin. Apply lotion often and use deep moisturizing masks on parts of the skin that are really dry. Also, consider using an exfoliating scrub to remove dead skin cells.
Water is also essential for healthy skin, and staying hydrated is an important part of looking and feeling your best. Water has many health benefits for your skin; for example, those who are properly hydrated have less wrinkles and dry spots.
Once you’ve spent time at the gym, you want it to show on the beach, right? An excellent way to enhance your beach body is to apply a light, fake tan, which brings out the definition in your muscles. A good fake tan with SPF can also help to protect your skin from harmful UV rays while making your skin glow before the sun has had time to do it’s work. A well-applied tan is the best way to show off the body you’ve been working so hard to tone for the last few weeks.
No one ever said a bikini body would be easy, but once summer hits, it’ll be more than worth it. By playing it smart and implementing the right steps into your routine, you’ll be well on your way to a healthier you and a bikini body worth envying.
Do your children get enough exercise and physical activity? If they aren’t getting at least 60 minutes or more of it per day, the answer is likely no. It’s easy to assume kids are active enough and parents are quick to focus on their own fitness regimens without noticing how the rest of the family is doing. Does this sound familiar? If so, it’s time to make a change and get everyone both motivated and active.
4 Reasons Exercise is Important for Children
Exercise is important for children for many of the same reasons it’s important for adults. Here are a few of the top reasons your children need to be physically active:
- Better health. The most obvious reason for physical activity is better personal health. According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, regular daily exercise can lower a child’s risk of developing heart disease, cancer, or having a stroke – the leading causes of death among adults. It’s also shown that children who exercise at a young age go on to have stronger bones in the future and less fractures or breaks.
- Less stress. It may seem strange to think of a child being stressed, but anxiety can build in children of all ages. Exercise has a way of relieving stress and boosting self-esteem in children – just as it does in adults.
- Fight obesity. It should come as no surprise that overweight children are more likely to become obese adults. By teaching children to exercise at a young age, you can reduce their chances of being overweight and unhealthy in the future.
- Improved social skills. According to a study conducted by the University of Michigan Cardiovascular Center, children that engage in physical activity demonstrate better social skills than those who do not. Specifically, the research suggests that these children develop superior empathy and leadership skills.
How to Motivate and Encourage Your Children
So, physical exercise is obviously important for children, but how do you actually encourage children to put down the video games and become more active? Here are some of the best motivation tips.
- Choose the right activities. You can’t expect kids to be active if they don’t enjoy it. That means it’s important for you to choose appropriate activities based on your child’s interest and needs. If you have boys and girls, consider gender neutral games and activities that satisfy everyone.
- Be a role model. Whether you realize it or not, your children are watching you from a very young age. If you’re telling them to go outside and play while you sit inside and watch TV, that doesn’t make sense. On the other hand, if they see you running three miles every day, they’ll be much more likely to exercise themselves.
- Do things together. Have you tried exercising with your children? Many health and fitness clubs offer family events targeted towards parents and young children. This can be a great way to spend time with your kids and get physical activity in.
- Break things up. While children may need 60 minutes of physical activity each day, they don’t have to get it all in at once. In fact, it’s much better if you break things up into smaller time frames of say 15-20 minutes.
Keeping the Future in Mind
For children, it’s all about keeping the future in mind. While the average child may be able to live a sedentary lifestyle for a brief period of time with little negative side effects, a lack of physical activity over a prolonged period of time can be dangerous for long-term growth, health, and happiness. Encourage children to get active today and invest in a healthy future.
Many health and fitness experts have latched onto the organic living trend, and rightfully so. Eating these healthy foods not only helps to promote a better overall level of fitness, but can also improve your health significantly. When it comes to weight loss pills, many of these same individuals are touting natural ingredients as the key to success as well. Unfortunately, these ingredients on their own do very little, as most people already get many of these in their normal diet and still struggle with their weight.
And then there is Phen375. With a variety of pharmaceutical ingredients and some powerful, natural factors, it can help result in great amounts of weight loss in a relatively short period of time. Of course, this raises the question on whether or not Phen375 is actually safe for consumption. To answer this, you must understand the ingredients that make up the actual pill. Once you do, you will see why Phen375 is one of the safest and most powerful ways to shed that unwanted body fat.
What Are the Ingredients?
If you are trying to determine whether or not something is safe for consumption, the first place to look is the ingredient list. Aside from the basic components of the pill to ensure steady digestion, there are four major ingredients to consider. None of these ingredients have been shown to cause harm and they include:
- Sympathomimetic Amine: This natural ingredient works independently as an extraordinary metabolism booster, effectively kick-starting your weight loss efforts in a safe manner.
- 1,3,7-Trimethylxanthine: This ingredient is a type of caffeine and provides a way to reduce your appetite without causing any harm due to excess amounts.
- Capsaicin-1.12: Health experts have recently started looking at hot peppers as an effective way to promote weight loss and boost calorie burn. This natural ingredient helps to raise the body temperature in this way and helps increase blood flow throughout the body.
- L-Carnitine: With the increased blood flow, this ingredient pulls unwanted body fat that has been stored and pushes it into the blood stream. This not only leads to weight loss, but also causes increases in energy.
All of these ingredients are safe to consume on their own and together they are intended to help lead to great weight loss results. Of course, none of that really matters if the pills don’t work.
Does it Really Work?
Knowing the ingredients of something doesn’t really help if the product doesn’t work to achieve its outcome. If you do a basic internet search for Phen375, you will no doubt find that there is plenty of conflicting information about this. Some places make claims that it doesn’t do anything while others claim that they lost 10-15 pounds in just one week. In all likelihood, your results will probably be somewhere in between these numbers.
The simple fact is that these ingredients do work and they will help to promote weight loss. What many places are afraid to say though, is that the amount of weight loss can vary from person to person.
While people constantly say you need to be happy with who you are, it’s difficult to be satisfied if you don’t feel good. The root of most people’s dissatisfaction is actually grounded in their health, not just their body image. But by improving both, you can enhance your overall quality of life and feel happier, healthier, and more attractive.
Increase Your Energy
You need to start with your energy level. If you constantly feel tired and sleep deprived, you won’t be capable of tackling the other issues in your life. Try these energy-boosting tips:
- Get some sleep. It’s the most basic tip, but it matters the most. While your busy schedule may not allow you to get 8 hours of sleep every night, you can ensure the sleep you do get is solid. That means not falling asleep with the television on, avoiding alcohol before bedtime, and using a pillow that properly supports your neck.
- Get moving. According to a study published in Personality and Social Psychology, a 10-minute walk can enhance your energy level for as much as two hours. Try a walk in the morning and afternoon to keep you going.
- Eat better. Stop eating so much sugar and consume the nutrients you need – specifically omega-3 fatty acids. Studies have show than this nutrient can improve brain function and keep you from slumping in the middle of the day.
Stay Fit and Lose Weight
Do you have a few extra pounds that seem to be holding you back? In addition to making you self-conscious about your body image, the extra weight could be directly affecting the way your body functions and feels. Try these tips:
- Find fun ways to exercise. Have you tried planning a workout routine, only to fail days later? Maybe you need to discover new and fun ways to get your exercise. Consider kayaking, hiking, biking, or running with your dog.
- Cut back on foods you love. You may not have to eliminate all the foods you love from your diet. Try selecting three of your favorite foods and switching them out for low-calorie or low-fat alternatives.
- Drink more water. Staying hydrated has two major benefits. First, it keeps your body functioning properly and flushes out toxins. Second, it can curb your appetite and keep you from eating so much at meal times. Are you getting enough water?
Consider Cosmetic Enhancements
Are you unsatisfied with the way you look? Truth is, the majority of people want some form of change or enhancement. Thankfully, there are many safe, minimally invasive procedures that can provide positive results with little effort. In fact, 87 percent of patients feel satisfied following a cosmetic surgery. Consider these tips:
- Smooth away frowns. Dr. Racanelli, a board certified plastic surgeon, understands the power of simple Botox injections. In fact, he believes a simple 15 minutes treatment can provide three or four months of improved confidence.
- Lift your spirits. Whatever the cause may be – sun damage, weight fluctuation, smoking, or normal aging – skin has a tendency to sag over time. A face lift can leave you feeling and looking better.
- Consider your nose. The most popular form of plastic surgery is rhinoplasty – or reconstructive nose surgery. If you aren’t totally satisfied with how your nose looks, a simple procedure can significantly improve the your look and confidence.
Discover a Better You
Are you tired of people saying you simply need to be happier with who you are, when you don’t feel good at all? Improve your health and appearance and you may be surprised at just how much better you look and feel.
There are dozens of hair care products available to women today. So many, in fact, that it can be hard to know what to buy for the best. From dry shampoo to heat protecting spray and leave in conditioner, the market is saturated with products that claim to be the ideal solution to your hair care troubles. To help make your decision making easier, we have come up with a list of five hair care products that are essential to healthy hair.
1. Leave in Conditioner
Whilst leave in conditioner may seem unnecessary, after all, you condition your hair when you wash it, right?, many experts are saying it’s a crucial item for a woman to have in her arsenal. Leave in conditioner can help to keep your hair hydrated, and acts like a primer – ideal if you are planning on using other styling products. Leave in conditioner can also help you to comb and detangle your hair more easily, making it especially good for women with long hair.
2. A Salon Quality Hair Dryer
Have you ever wondered why your hair always looks and feels so much better after you have had it professionally washed, dried and styled at a place like www.hairsalonnycity.com? Well, it’s often down to the products that the hairdresser uses, and the way that they dry your hair. A salon quality hair dryer can cut the length of time it takes to dry your hair in half, which lowers the chances of the heat damaging it. Many also include cool settings, which can leave your hair feeling extra healthy.
3. Heat Protecting Spray
If you’re using hot tools like hair dryers and hair straighteners, a heat protecting spray is a must. This is one of the most vital hair styling products that you can buy because it protects against humidity and heat damage, both of which can lead to unhealthy, damaged hair. With many hair straighteners reaching temperatures of 450o or more, your hair really needs some form of protection. Multitasking sprays can also be purchased for those of you who are planning on adding more products to your hair after drying or straightening.
4. Dry Shampoo
Most hair stylists agree that it’s a bad idea to wash your hair every day because it leads to softer ends, and a healthier scalp. However, for those of us who have oily hair, we need to wash it daily. Dry shampoo is the ideal solution. It eliminates the need to wash your hair daily by getting rid of the oil build up, and it maximises volume at the same time. Plus, if you don’t have the time to wash your hair every day, a dry shampoo can be a life saver.
5. Flexible Hold Hairspray
The last thing any woman wants is to spend hours perfecting her look, for it to get ruined by the time she arrives at the office. Thankfully, flexible hold hairspray is the key. It’s easy to apply, and will keep your hair looking well styled for hours, whether you wear it up or down. It’s even possible to buy travel hairsprays so that you can reapply as needed throughout the day.
With New Year's resolutions in full swing, many people are signing up for gym memberships. Weight loss won't happen on its own, however. It takes hard work and commitment, and can be done with or without expensive gym equipment. Are you fully prepared to make the changes needed in order to meet your goals? Let's take a look at some pros and cons of working out at a gym versus working out at home.
The Top 3 Pros
- Variety. While working out from home is certainly an option, people tend to get bored or lose motivation. You probably don't have a full gym at home, and will be limited in what you can do. A gym, however, has dozens of machines and programs to keep you interested in what you're doing.
- Social factor. When you work out from home, your only companion is the annoying trainer shouting commands from your television. Working out a gym gives you the opportunity to meet new people and build relationships. This camaraderie will force you to stay accountable and active.
- Access to trainers. Depending on the gym you join and type of membership type, you may have access to a trainer. This allows you to unlock your fitness potential and should help point you in a positive direction. Even if you only use a trainer part of the time, you take the knowledge you learn from them, and apply it when working out alone.
The Top 3 Cons
- Cost. According to Park View Legal, one of the nation’s leading credit repair agencies, every spending decision should be analyzed. While determining whether or not to join a gym may seem like only a health decision, it also comes with significant financial strings attached. Gym memberships can cost up to $100 per month, and this expense adds up fast. Can you still afford to eat well, provide comfortable living for your family, and pay the bills if you join a gym? These factors, and more, should be taken into consideration.
- Effort. One of the number one excuses for not going to the gym is time. Even though you pay for the membership, you actually have to get in your car and drive there to make it worthwhile. After getting home from work or dropping the kids off at school, driving to the gym can be the last thing you want to do.
- Environment. Many people don’t like the idea of exercising in public and a gym can be an undesirable environment. From people seeing you make unattractive faces to the creepy guy staring from across the room, a gym isn’t always conducive to a stress-free environment; sometimes you just want to be alone.
Weighing Your Options
What are the pros and cons apply to your life? Before choosing to invest in a gym membership this year, consider all of your options. You may find that a gym is exactly what you need, or that working out from home is a better fit. Only you can decide, but the important thing is to be active this year, in whatever way you choose.
One of the biggest complaints among people with full time office jobs is that they tend to end up in pretty bad shape. While often mentally taxing, office work tends to be very sedentary physically speaking, and so over the years of your career you can find yourself gaining weight, losing muscle tone and feeling generally unhappy with your fitness level. Add to this the fact that a busy, stressful job which can involve long hours can leave you feeling too tired to stick to a decent pre or post work exercise regime, and it is easy to see why many people struggle to balance an active, healthy lifestyle with their job. So, short of seeking employment in a different field, what can you do to minimise the negative effects of this kind of work on your fitness?
Use Your Commute
One way a lot of people manage to cram some exercise into their daily routine is to use their commute as an opportunity to get moving. If you have a reasonably long commute, cycling can be a way to get fitter while also saving money on getting to and from the office. If you work in a major city, it can also end up being a lot faster! If your commute is fairly short, you can consider walking or even running (if you have showers at work you can run to work and then get ready for work there, if not you can walk to work without breaking a sweat and then run home to your own shower!). Even getting off the bus a few stops early or parking further away can add some activity to your day without costing you too much in terms of time. If you work in a multi-storey building, you can also get more exercise by taking the stairs instead of an elevator.
You need to take regular breaks from your computer, and if there is somewhere private you can go like an unoccupied meeting room or office, doing a quick circuit of exercises (you can keep some free weights at your office, or just do things like push ups or crunches that use your own body weight) will not only invigorate you and help you feel more alert for the next session of work, but can also add up to a good amount of muscle training if you do it a few times a day every day you are at work. You can also consider using your lunch break to do something active each day, even if it is just walking to a further away sandwich shop or taking a stroll in the park!
There are ways to squeeze a little more activity into your day that can quickly become part of your routine. On their own these will lead to better fitness, but couple them with a couple of evening and weekend workouts of a greater intensity and you can actually lose weight pretty effectively without suffering from over committing yourself!
Volleyball is a sport that attracts people from all walks of life. From young girls looking for a competitive outlet to middle-aged men having fun on the beach, volleyball seems to transcend age and lifestyle. This is largely due to the fact that the sport is so beneficial, both physically and mentally.
The Sport for Everyone
While it’s quite unlikely that you’ll make millions from playing professional volleyball, you can certainly improve your state of well-being by participating in amateur leagues or friendly backyard competitions. It’s casual, competitive, and best of all healthy. Here are some of the specific benefits:
- Incredibly versatile. Few sports offer as much versatility as volleyball. You can play a variety of styles and aren’t tied down by specific rules or regulations. For example, there is indoor volleyball and beach volleyball. You can play casual games with five or six players on each side or more competitive games with teams of two. A net can be thrown up at a backyard barbecue or you can find one already installed on a public beach. It’s this versatility that attracts many people to the sport.
- Good workout. Volleyball is a full-body sport, something you’ll probably notice the next day. From your arms and shoulders to thighs and lower legs, volleyball engages virtually every muscle group in your body. This makes it a good choice for exercise and can help you get a balanced workout.
- Burns calories. According to a study conducted by FitnessHealthZone.com, just 45 minutes of volleyball can burn 585 calories. When implemented as part of a regular exercise program, volleyball can lead to weight loss and better overall health. Over the course of one year, the study suggests daily volleyball participation can help you burn the equivalent of 61 pounds of stored body fat.
- Lowers blood pressure. The physical activity involved when playing volleyball also strengthens the cardiovascular system, improves circulation, and can lower blood pressure over time. As a result, regular participants can reduce their risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, or hypertension.
- Improves interpersonal skills. Volleyball is a team sport that requires players to work together. This regular involvement with others in a competitive environment can teach skills that translate to additional areas of life, such as business or personal relationships. In fact, according to a 2008 study, men who engaged in regular team sports developed better networking skills than those who were less involved.
- Promotes healthier personal image. The combination of reduced stress, better health, and improved personal relationships lead to a healthier personal image and stronger self-esteem. While volleyball isn’t the only way to achieve health and happiness, it’s certainly an excellent place to start.
Whether you grew up playing volleyball and gave it up years ago, or don’t know the difference between a bump, set, or spike, you may want to give the sport a try. Volleyball can be an excellent way to improve your total well-being, both physically and mentally, and allows you to have some fun along the way.
While it may sound like a foreign concept to some, art therapy is actually a very practical form of therapeutic healing. From PTSD and depression to stress and anxiety, art therapy can have profound effects on a person’s mental health and well-being.
The Value of Art Therapy
In the words of Albert Scaglione, CEO of Park West Gallery, “When it comes to mental and emotional disorders, stress, or anxiety, you must find a way to get to the core of the problem. Medication and prescriptions only mask what’s really going on under the surface.”
Therapists agree with this, and find art therapy to be one of the most effective tools for uncovering what’s happening internally at a cognitive level. While many critics of art therapy write it off as being too subjective or unsubstantial, those who have experienced the effects first-hand vouch for its credibility, claiming it allows you to discover who you really are.
3 Art Therapy Exercises
Every individual is different, and many art therapists use their own tools to evaluate where their patients are at. Here are some of the most common tools and exercises that they use:
- Tapping into the inner child. Some of the best exercises allow the patient to connect with their inner child. These are useful and well received because of the level of innocence involved. As a child, you had few biases and didn’t spend as much time filtering thoughts before acting upon them. Art therapists frequently try to bring out their patient's inner child through traditional childhood art projects.
One method often used by therapists is to give the patient a box filled with traditional elementary school art supplies — glue sticks, crayons, pencils, markets, construction paper, etc. — and ask them to make something that describes how they felt as a child. This is often a good starting point for open discussion.
- Building a vision board. While much of art therapy revolves around connecting with who you are and where you’ve been, it’s also focused on who you aren’t and who you want to be. The vision board project allows a therapist to understand who the patient is striving to be in the future.
Using magazines, newspapers, and pictures, the therapist asks the patient to cut out pictures that display their ideal self. They are then told to paste the images to a poster board and write words beneath them. By seeing who the patient wants to be, the therapist can uncover the root of their unhappiness and lack of satisfaction.
- Painting a self-portrait. Fairly self-explanatory, this exercise is one of the most useful tools around. It usually combines two very different modes of thinking and can help both the therapist and patient connect with who they are. On the one hand, this exercise shows how people think about themselves. On the other, it’s frequently mixed with elements that are more indicative of who they wished they were, as opposed to who they actually are.
This exercise doesn’t have to be limited to painting and can involve sculpting, making a collage, drawing, or any other form of creative expression. The goal is for the patient to create an image of who they believe they are through an artistic medium.
Try Your Own Art Therapy Exercises
For information on art therapy exercises you can perform in the comfort of your own home, check out this list of 100 different exercises. Try a few and see if they help you better connect with yourself, and if you believe you could benefit from seeing a professional art therapist, don’t hesitate to set up an appointment today.