Art therapy can ease stress in teen girls

Stressed at school? Art-based mindfulness activities could reduce headaches, a common side effect of stress in adolescent girls, reveals a new study.

The results of the study were published in the journal ‘Art Therapy’. Teenagers report higher levels of stress than adults and cite the school as the highest contributing factor. In response, recently some schools have turned to mindfulness-based programmes as a way to alleviate stress among their students. These programmes could benefit from more research into what activities students find most useful.

The teens tried different mindfulness techniques in each session so they could find which ones worked the best for them. What teens liked: square breathing, a technique that encourages people to take slow breaths by concentrating and counting. What teens didn’t like: mindful eating, a technique that asks people to focus on what and how they’re eating. While the teens experienced fewer headaches after the study ended, their overall stress levels didn’t change much. However, the students reported feeling better in the moment, saying that they felt like they could handle whatever happened for the rest of the day.