Photography as Therapy: Improve Your Mental Health
Learn to take care of your wellbeing
I believe that taking care of your mental wellbeing is one of the most important things you can do for yourself and your family. I myself have struggled with mental health; the raising of children can sometimes be a lonely job and the everyday stresses of juggling work, home and finances can build up and cause stress, overwhelm and anxiety. Sometimes you can lose your way, lose your connection with those that you love and feel unappreciated.
A new era for mental health
We are entering a new era where mental health is now being recognised as a problem for so many, and new tools and techniques are emerging to share and help people. This is brilliant. The stigma of mental health is dissolving and people are realising that it’s ok to feel not ok. Share your feelings, talk to people, and if someone reaches out to you, listen to their story.
Taking time for yourself
I now realise the importance of taking time for me and not feeling guilty about doing so. A happy mum means a happy family and as well as making sure I spend quality time with those that I love, my camera is a fantastic tool to calm my mind and de-stress.
How can photography help your mental health?
I learnt that photography can be a form of active mindfulness. This is a technique I use myself when I need to clear my head from daily stress, overwhelm or when I’m feeling anxious. I walk through my local fields and I capture the little details that catch my eye. By listening to my surroundings and taking notice, I slow down, zone out, get creative and focus my eye through the lens on the beauty of the everyday objects that inspire and connect with me.
Mindful photography experiences
I now run mindful photography experiences to help people slow down and learn to connect with nature and their surroundings through their camera or phone camera. This is an experience open to all, as phones have made the world of photography easily accessible.
During a photography experience, I help you to learn to focus your eye and mind. I guide you through a mindful nature experience, sharing photography tips on composition as we go (as and when desired by yourself) and I set themes for you to focus your mind as we walk.
Photography is a skill for life to help calm the mind
Learning to use your camera in this way is a life skill you can learn to use on a daily basis and you can share with your children and family. I teach people that there is no right or wrong when composing an image. Each individual creates an image that holds a connection to themselves. Each image is an expression of a feeling, a moment seen by the individual eye, and you should be proud of your creation.
You too can learn to focus your mind and take notice of your surroundings. A recent participant described this experience as “good for the soul”. You will learn to connect to yourself and nature, gain clarity, and experience a boost in your mood, leaving you feeling revitalised and clear headed.
Connect and create
So if you’d like to do something for you, learn a new skill, gain confidence and de-stress from the hustle or bustle or if you suffer from overwhelm or anxiety come along and learn how to be mindful in nature with your camera. You will experience a boost in mood, you will feel a sense of achievement from creating images of your own and you will feel connected to your environment and yourself. This is an experience that you will continue to use every day. Come and connect, create and learn.