Photography is such a great tool for improving your mental health, especially as it does not require you to go to art school or be professionally trained to enjoy.

When things get on top of you, or you feel as though you need a break from the stresses and strains of everyday life, simply pick up your camera and your coat and head out on an adventure. Giving yourself the time and space to explore your creativity can help exponentially in your mental wellness.

The power of creativity

When you have an activity that you can focus on, it can give your mind the rest it needs from your troubles. By working on a photography project you can work towards the goal of creating the images you want, whether they be portrait, landscape, candid or whatever takes your fancy!

Being creative with something outside of home life and work life is a great way to boost your happy endorphins. Just think how proud you’ll be when you can show off your images to friends and family…

Getting outdoors is also a huge boost for mental health. A walk in the park, along the beach or even in the hustle and bustle of an outdoor event is a positive of getting into photography. It’s also a great way to encourage others to stay well – have you thought about introducing the little ones to photography? Our post on this will set you on the right track.

Process over product

Although there’s nothing like a photograph of yours being appreciated by others, it is more important that you enjoy the process of taking photographs rather than the strive for perfection. Taking in your surroundings, looking for pops of colour to capture and immersing yourself in the moment is key to getting the full benefit of this art form.

With photography, you have the excuse to travel to new locations and explore new techniques, expanding your horizons.

Organisations

Photovoice – The organisation’s vision is for ‘a world in which everybody has the opportunity to represent themselves and tell their own story. To promote the ethical use of photography for positive social change, through delivering innovative participatory photography projects’.

PhotoTherapy – The PhotoTherapy technique is ‘therapy practices that use people’s personal snapshots, family albums, and pictures taken by others (and the feelings, thoughts, memories, and associations these photos evoke) as catalysts to deepen insight and enhance communication during their therapy or counselling sessions’.

Fragmentary – Focusing ‘solely on exploring the complex issues of mental health and emotions through photographic projects and artworks’. Fragmentary are looking for photographs that stir dialogue and move the viewer about mental health, the ‘psychology of the self and others’ and encourage projects with therapeutic potential.

Has photography helped your mental health? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter.