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  • Writer's pictureLynn Cukaj

Here and Now Art Activity: Positive Affirmations for a Better Outlook on Life

By Lynn Cukaj, ATR-BC

Art Therapy for Children, Teenagers and Adults

Will this rain ever stop? It is spoiling my plans. I feel like I can't get anything accomplished these days. Why am I always late to appointments? I feel terrible from overeating - I will never achieve my weight goal. I’m still thinking about a conversation from yesterday that went sour. Does any of this sound familiar? It is that little voice in our head that tends to drag us into a state of negativity. Our own thoughts and feelings can be our worst enemy. If we allow ourselves to fall victim to our own internal negativity then we are not working on finding a different perspective that may help us out of whatever funk we find ourselves in. The good news is, we can stop this pattern at any time by practicing here & now techniques. As an Art Therapist, my goal is to incorporate art and therapy in order to help my clients reframe negative thoughts, release stress, and gain a positive perspective.

The following activity is an effective and immediate tool that can be used to help us focus on the positive when our day is going in a direction that we feel we cannot control. Shifting our perspective allows us to move into a different frame of mind and gives ourselves respite from our own limiting thoughts. For this Art Therapy activity, we will create a visual reminder that can be used to reorient ourselves in trying times and gain a positive perspective that will improve our thoughts, behavior, and attitude.

Here & Now Art Therapy Activity

Materials needed:

  1. Piece of paper (construction paper, card stock, craft paper, or copy paper)

  2. To trace: Oil pastels or Craypas (or Sharpies if you have neither)

  3. To color in: Watercolor paints (or food coloring)

  4. To outline: One or more object(s) from around your home: The object(s) you choose can have meaning (an award or metal, a flower, a token from a trip) or it can be an everyday object (rock from the garden, a coaster, or even your phone.)


  1. Pick a color from your oil pastel, craypas or sharpie selection. Trace your object(s) on the paper, multiple times using different colors, overlapping previous traces if desired. You can trace it exactly or you can just do the outline just giving an idea of what the object is.

  2. Take out your watercolors (or food coloring) and paint within the traced lines using as many colors as you wish. Note: The watercolor will resist the craypa/sharpie so you may paint over the lines you traced. Also, the craypa/sharpie will not bleed into the watercolor.

  3. Choose one or many of the following positive affirmations to add to your artwork. You may print out the following positive affirmations to cut and paste on your artwork, or you can wait until the paint is dry and use a sharpie to write them directly on your creation.

I am enough.

My presence is my power.

I don’t sweat the small stuff.

I let go of all that no longer serves me.

I am courageous and I stand up for myself.

I deserve the best and I accept the best now.

I am superior to negative thoughts and low actions.

I am in charge of how I feel and today I am choosing happiness.

I use my creativity to tap into my innate power for growth and healing.

A river of compassion washes away my anger and replaces it with love.

I am allowed to be both a masterpiece and a work in progress simultaneously.

Creative energy surges through me and leads me to new and brilliant ideas.

My thoughts are filled with positivity and my life is plentiful with prosperity.

Today, I abandon my old habits and take up new, more positive ones.

Everything that is happening now is happening for my ultimate good.

I have strength in my heart and clarity in my mind.

My fears of tomorrow are melting away.

When I focus on gratitude, the tide of disappointment goes out and the tide of love rushes in. (Kristin Armstrong)

Owning my story and loving myself through the process is the bravest thing that I will ever do. (Brene Brown)

An empty lantern provides no light. Self-care is the fuel that allows my light to shine brightly.

Just in case I have forgotten today: I matter. I am loved. I am worthy. I am magical.(Elyse Santilli)

If you have a favorite quote or saying that can serve as a positive affirmation, include it in your art design as a reminder of your self-worth.

Art making is often used for emotional expression and can also be a tool for self-soothing. Allow this art piece to be a daily reminder that life is a journey and we are not alone in our feelings and struggles. Our goal is to be looking for ways to better ourselves which will in turn better the lives of others and the world around us. Challenging thoughts and feelings happen to us daily but it is in our power to reframe those thoughts to release stress and live a more peaceful life.

Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.

- Picasso


For more therapeutic activities and resources on how to incorporate Art Therapy into your life, read more from Lynn's Creative Expressions Blog.

Learn more about Art Therapy and Lynn Cukaj, Board Certified Art Therapist here:

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