Sometimes a picture is all it takes to convey what words can’t.
That’s evident in 29-year-old artist Anya Anti’s creative photo, which is a powerful take on how an anxiety disorder physically feels in her body.
Anti, who has experienced anxiety and depression herself, decided to portray the condition in her work as a way to express how she was feeling.
“When I was making this project, I didn’t think about teaching something or putting a message out there,” Anti told HuffPost. “I just wanted to share what I can’t talk about, but at the same time can’t keep just to myself anymore.”
Nearly 40 million American adults experience an anxiety disorder, making it one of the most common mental health issues in the country. The conditions can cause panic attacks, excessive rumination, headaches and trouble sleeping. It also, like Anti’s photo depicts, can also cause physical stress.
“This image is metaphor of dealing with stress, anxiety and releasing my inner bugs,” Anti said. “I’ve had issues with dark thoughts and depression for the past couple of years and this image represents my attempt to reconsider my life and to be reborn into a new person.”
She wants the image to inspire others to turn their anxiety into something productive, or at the very least, send the message that they’re not alone in their experience.
“I hope people who experience problems and dark emotions will find a way to deal with them,” she said. “And I think making art is one of the best ways to do that. Turn your pain into something beautiful.”
Anti’s suggestion is valid: Research shows creative activities can reduce stress. If you’re looking for some other options to manage anxiety, try one of these expert-backed tricks or consider reaching out to a professional for support.
Bye, bye, butterflies.