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How can I channel destructive emotions into something more positive, such as art?

17 Answers
Last Updated: 09/29/2020 at 11:12pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
Moderated by

Johanna Liasides, MSc


I work with youth and young adults to help them improve depressive symptoms and self-esteem as well as effectively address family, relationship and peer conflicts.

Top Rated Answers
March 26th, 2015 5:11am
The first step is just making that decision.It is so great to have the knowledge to realize your emotions are destructive and you have the tools to channel that into something. The next step is making it happen. Don't set an expectations for yourself, just get out there and create something.
January 15th, 2015 3:47am
emotions in general can be a driving force. their is NO negative emotions. only negative actions. :)
January 25th, 2015 2:30pm
By...trying art. It's something really simpleEspecially with drawing and writting. I mean , with music or other stuff you have to learn at first and then create. With those too especially you can just start doing it. You just grab a pencil and a notebook and write , or a scetching block and a color pen or water colors and do whatever you want. The most sattisfying for me is drawing with my hands and oil-water colors, it gets all my anxiety out
June 16th, 2015 4:09pm
Some of the best art composed has been a result of emotional distress. What you can do, is choose your desired medium (poetry, painting, music) and do what you're feeling. Do it with passion.
June 18th, 2015 2:03am
I've been working on this personally. Focusing on going on more walks, being more active, or being out of the house when I am feeling this way. It's about training your brain to immediately turn to the positive thing, while feeling the negative emotion.
June 23rd, 2015 2:59am
You could write and paint your emotions you way, different methods such as reading and playing games help.
July 20th, 2015 1:22am
Sometimes it's really hard to sit still or concentrate on something when you're upset, so this is when physical activity really helps.
September 14th, 2015 5:06pm
I write when I'm feeling destructive. Nothing fictional, it's a more reflective process that allows me to objectively look at how i'm feeling. It's really good for me because I end up feeling like i've discussed my feelings in a logical manner and I end up with some great moments of clarity.
January 18th, 2016 12:58pm
Turn anfmfer into art. Sadness into poetry. That is the best way to channel your feelings. Try to make tr means into pearls.☺
January 19th, 2016 3:17pm
Since you are already thinking of outlets to channel these negative emotions into doesn't that already suggest that you are willing to make negative emotions positive ones?
February 15th, 2016 3:58pm
Creation is the opposing force of destruction. Creating a physical manifestation of your emotions, either in the form of a poem, of a visible being drawn or painted, etc, is a great way for you to identify how you are feeling and create something you are proud of.
- Expert in Managing Emotions
June 21st, 2016 3:19am
Colors help to calm you down at times maybe you can try that. Sports and exercise is another positive way to deal with destructive emotions.
September 12th, 2016 1:04pm
I'm an art teacher and I'm so glad you asked this question! You can start by making sure you have art supplies handy, even plain paper and crayons will do. Recording your emotions doesn't have to be a work of art, it's more important to capture the movement and intensity of your emotions on the paper.
August 1st, 2017 5:17pm
You pretty much said it in the question. Just channel it into art! Write about how you feel, draw something symbolic of your emotion, or learn a musical instrumental to relieve stress. Studies have actually shown that playing loud music and screaming is good for relieving stress.
June 29th, 2020 8:56am
The most important thing is that you recognize two things: one, what scenario you are having these destructive motions in/around, and two, that you are having them in real time. Once you have recognized that you are having destructive emotions, it is important that you analyze how it could be influencing or affecting the actions you are directly taking as a result. You might recognize these by certain thoughts you are having, or perhaps certain physiological responses. For example, rage - you might literally feel yourself getting hotter, not just hot-headed. After you have recognized these destructive emotions and thoughts, it can be useful to use simple emotional regulation techniques - as silly as it sounds, deep breathing is quite useful in such scenarios. From there, you can decide what to do with the emotion - perhaps you want to write down what transpired that affected you such, or write a story based on those events, and imagine what your characters would have done instead.
August 4th, 2020 10:34am
Your emotions most of the time determine what you do, if you feel happy then you are bound to do something constructive but if you have negative emotions most of the time you do not want to do anything. When you have such emotions it is best to put them into use to avoid doing unwanted things. You can paint according to how you feel, put all your anger and frustration into the art. It does not have to make sence, most of the time you will paint but you will not even know what it is you have painted
September 29th, 2020 11:12pm
One idea might be to look up books from your local library on the topic of art or art therapy. You can also look up YouTube videos on the topic. Personally I'm reading a book called "Essential Art Therapy Exercises" which goes through the art prompts and then also gives some discussion on how to interpret your artwork and integrate your emotions. I think art is a great outlet. Just begin where you are! You don't need any special tools or skills. Start with a paper and pencil if that's all you have. I think what matters is just spending time doing the activity rather than thinking about it too much. You can always learn new skills or collect new art supplies as you go along.