Unleashing Creativity for Mental Well-being: A Rediscovery of Therapeutic Arts

July 6, 2023
2 mins read
Therapeutic Arts
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In our tireless quest for wellness, we often overlook an unexpected ally – our inherent creativity. Once an integral part of our childhood joy, it seems the simple yet transformative power of art often fades into oblivion as we navigate through the grown-up world. Nevertheless, there is a mounting body of evidence that underlines the compelling relationship between creativity and mental well-being, thus bringing to light an often ignored part of our “wellness jigsaw.”

Let’s examine how engaging in artistic activities not only empowers our self-expression but also rejuvenates our mental health. Welcome to the world of therapeutic arts.

Unlocking Mental Health through the Therapeutic Arts

During his psychiatric training, one future practitioner unearthed the therapeutic powers of the arts to combat his own bouts of depression. Rather than solely relying on traditional tools like medication and talk therapy, he found solace in the rhythmic flow of poetry. This experience underscores the overlooked potential of art forms as part of a comprehensive approach to mental health. Through his poetic journey, he discovered an additional means to express his emotions and thoughts, fostering a brighter mood.

Despite being intuitive for many, the idea of art improving mental health often fades as we grow up and disconnect from our youthful creative endeavors. Yet, a substantial body of research asserts the positive impacts of creative activities on mental health. This evidence encompasses not just the process of creating art, but also appreciating it through concerts or museum visits.

Therapeutic Arts
© Photo: vecstock

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Artistic Techniques for Mood Elevation

The Three-Drawing Method: Pioneered by a prominent psychiatrist, this technique is a journey of self-discovery depicted in images. Its simplicity, requiring nothing more than basic drawings, demystifies the idea of art being exclusive to the “talented.” It encourages individuals to sketch a triptych – a self-portrait, a representation of a significant problem, and a resolution to the problem. This introspective journey can foster a sense of agency in one’s healing journey.

Coloring Intricate Patterns: Adult coloring books have surged in popularity in recent years, offering a simple but effective method to alleviate anxiety. Coloring within the lines of complex patterns, such as mandalas, creates a meditative space that helps reduce anxiety levels.

Immersing in Music: Music serves as a balm for the soul in different ways – listening, playing an instrument, or singing. Regardless of age, music-related activities consistently rank high in terms of their positive impact on mood. Furthermore, singing, in particular, has been linked to decreased cortisol levels, indicative of stress reduction.

Writing Poetry: Echoing the journey of our earlier psychiatrist, writing poetry is a highly personalized form of (therapeutic arts) that nurtures mental well-being. Dismissing the self-critic is key. Simple, structured poems like haikus can serve as an accessible entry point. Sharing your work or engaging with the works of others fosters an emotional connection, amplifying the healing power of poetry.

Bridging the realms of art and mental health, (therapeutic arts) offers an enriching landscape for self-discovery and healing. In this bustling world, we should remember to pause and appreciate the inherent power of creativity, fostering our well-being one stroke, note, or verse at a time. It’s high time we dust off our childhood crayons, retune our neglected guitars, and reclaim our voice, both literally and metaphorically, for the sake of our mental health.

Click on this link to read this article in French version

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