5 ways to use photography as Self-Therapy

When it comes to using Self-therapy most people will likely say, why would I need that?!


Well let's just start with the facts, according to an article written by BBC, 55% of those living in the U.S. say they are regularly stressed. The United States currently ranks no. 7 on the list of top 10 most stressed countries. So knowing about 1 out of every 2 people in the U.S. experiences daily stress I think its safe to say everyone could benefit from adding a little Self-Therapy to their daily lives.


For me, photography truly became a form of self-therapy in mid 2017. That year I'd gone through a particularly rough hernia repair surgery. The operation although successful did cause significant internal bleeding, this would prove the most difficult part of the healing process. I was left barely able to get myself out of bed, mind you before this I was running a mile under 7 minutes. This was a truly humbling experience, and in the moment quite depressing as I had been stripped of my usual forms of self-therapy; weight-lifting, yoga, and running around with good friends. First the first month of my recovery just walking to the bathroom was a challenge, let alone beginning my painful walks around the neighborhood. Taking a massive blow to both my physicality and confidence, I was left with a void in my life that I desperately had to fill.





Through this journey, I learned life doesn't stop during tough times, the most important thing is to work on shifting your mindset to the therapy's you are allowed in any given situation. For me this is where photography really became a life-saver. I realized I needed to focus my mind on something I could still excel at! I started bringing my camera on my walks and all of a sudden stopping for a rest wasn't disheartening, but rather encouraging as it was an opportunity to look for a great shot within site. I found myself appreciating the little things more on these walks with my camera, and sure enough over time my pain begin to lessen.


There is no doubt that there is a strong connection between emotion and the body's ability to recover. Keeping a positive mindset throughout a difficult time in one's life can literally save them.


This list is going to focus on 5 ways photography can be used as self-therapy and as a healing tool for both the troubles of the mind & body.

1. Challenge your creative self! (in a healthy way)

Whether you are getting back on your feet, confined to a wheelchair, or just feeling down, a photography challenge can be great a form of self-therapy. With the right mindset a creative challenge can produce positive feelings like motivation, inspiration, and self-appreciation. All you need is your smart-phone camera! Here are a few ideas to get you started.


Capture an interesting light-fixture.

Practice your macro-photography.

Create a black and white photo.


2. Create a photo journal!

It can extremely beneficial to the mindset to make note of the little things that bring you joy in life, each and everyday, but especially in times of hardship. Whether you take a picture of the healthy breakfast you ate, or maybe a picture of your favorite shirt or shoes and why you enjoy them. Don't make it too complicated, this is all about appreciating the little things in life and reminding the self whats to be thankful for.


Create this journal in a dedicated folder on your phone.

Make one using an app like photos for Mac.

Go old school and using an actual journal!


3. Experiment with photography apps!

On top of Instagram's filters there are countless apps out there to create stunning effects with your photos from photo loops to imposed backgrounds you can find it. Here are a few of my favorites to mess around with! The key here is to think creatively and have fun! You can inspire yourself and others with what you create!


Check out Pixaloop, an app that lets you bring your still photos to life!

Mess around with ColorPop, an app that lets you pick and choose where you want color!

Try out Photoblend, an app that lets you creatively merge photos for stunning affects!


4. Slow-it-down & create a slow-motion video!

Most newer smart-phones will now produce slow-motion video in 1080p with ease! This is an amazingly fun and easy to produce affect that you can use indoors or out. From pouring a glass of water to lighting a match the most simple of activities become interesting to watch under slow-mo. You may be surprised how much this takes your mind off of whatever challenges you may be facing. Here are some fun subject ideas to get you started.


Film any source of water in slow-motion! (Sprinkler, Shower, Water-pitcher)

Film your cleaning in Slow-motion! (vacuuming, dusting, spraying)

Film your pet at play! (if you have one)


5. Create a selfie-challenge with a friend!

Using Snapchat or one of many popular filter apps you can create fun challenges with friends like who can create the most hilarious Bitmoji, selfie, or Snapstory! The whole idea here is to combine both creative and social interaction to bring positive feelings and fun to everyone involved! Here are a few ideas on challenges you can try!


See who looks the best as the opposite sex!

See who can look the most 70s!

Compete for whose story gets the most views!


Now that you have some ideas on how to use photography as a form of self-therapy all you have to do is pick a form you'd like to focus on! You may enjoy yourself so much you continue your photography endeavors even after you heal from whatever hardship you may be facing! Just remember to have fun, and to always shoot within the limits instructed by your Doctor!


Unitl the next post,


Best,

MJP



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