By Mary Ann Cohen
Fighting depression and anxiety can be very challenging. If you have experienced it, then you know how hard it sometimes may be to carry out even the most basic tasks such as getting out of the bed or doing the laundry. As this isn’t enough, failing to complete these simple tasks often leaves a person suffering from depression drained and feeling apathetic.
Medications and talk therapy can be helpful, but if you want to relieve your symptoms naturally, you should trying engaging in creative activities, such as playing a piece of music, dancing or painting. Creating Art allows you to explore your depression through different senses and without words. Communicating with yourself and others can sometimes be painful and hard, and art can be used as a new language of expression that opens up new possibilities to recover and heal.
Benefits of Healing Art for Depression and Anxiety
The aim of creating art to alleviate depression and anxiety is not about the final product, but about the process of creation. Through the creative process, you should create new thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. Your capacity for joy, love, and confidence should expand, and eventually, you should be able to feel free and get back to your normal life.
Some of the ways you might benefit from creating art and searching for your inner artist is improved self-esteem and confidence, enhanced problem-solving skills and out-of-the-box-thinking, letting go of your emotions and creating a sense of trust in yourself. Art therapy will also help you fully explore your thoughts and address your mental health issues in a positive and safe way.
When Words Do Not Speak
As we mentioned, it may be challenging to open up and talk about your emotions. In art therapy, you don’t need words to communicate and express yourself. A simple drawing or a sculpture can tell much more than words written on a piece of paper. An artwork, no matter how simple it may be, can voice painful feelings and emotions in ways words never can. Art supports us when words do not speak or just aren’t enough.
The Capacity to Feel Again
In addition to creating a communication bridge, creating art can also help you understand what you are actually feeling. You may feel distances or incapable of feeling anything, but art, as the heart of expression and emotion, can help you wake up that capacity again. Once a part of yourself and your emotions is created as something tangible and concrete (such as a drawing or a sculpture) it is much easier to get in touch with yourself and acknowledge that such an emotion existed in the first place.
Creating Your Own Happiness
Research shows that observing and creating art releases dopamine and serotonin, also known as the happy hormones. Interestingly, the brain activity when we create art is similar to the brain activity when we are in love. It is comforting to know that apart from obtaining a sense of self-accomplishment, art truly fosters positive feelings on a neural level.
If you have the need to express your emotions and find a bit of relief, there is nothing to lose if you try channeling your feeling through art. Who knows, once your emotions are channeled into the artwork, maybe you will even discover a newfound passion for art and be surprised at the talent that emerges.
About the Author:
Mary Ann Cohen is considered one of the nation’s most successful and respected art dealers with over 35 years of International visual fine art experience. She actively supports the use of art therapy in her galleries.
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