If you’re currently experiencing mental or physical health difficulties, and you’ve never dropped into a life drawing or pottery class, you may be wondering what the mental health benefits are of being creative. Many recovery and mental health centres use creativity as a way of keeping the mind occupied, and many patients have turned to their creative side to express their issues or use it as a way of finding solace.
If you’re just gone into treatment, you may have resented well-meaning friends and family members telling you to think positively or be optimistic. One benefit of creativity is that it allows your mind to wonder positively, and ponder the task in hand. Rather than picking at previous issues or dwelling on problems from the past, you’ll find your brain trying to perfect the shape of the clay or the brush strokes on the canvas.
A new mode of expression
A large and very important aspect of therapy is talking and expressing yourself. Being able to explain and understand why you feel the way you do will help you to ultimately recover, and process your emotions. However, art also provides a way of expression that doesn’t necessarily involve sitting in your psychotherapist’s chair. Taking time to paint, create and express through multiple media may allow you to express emotions in a way that you struggle to verbally.
One aspect that should be considered, however, is that there is no real substitute for receiving professional, informed guidance. For example, if you are aware that you are over-using prescription medication, then creativity cannot supplement attending prescription drug rehab. If you live in California or are looking to travel for professional expertise and advice, then visiting an Orange County prescription drug rehab will help to ensure that you have a successful recovery.
Not only has creativity been incredibly useful to help patients express their feelings and recognise significance in their own lives, but it is also a brilliant way of teaching people to get back to basics and find pure enjoyment in activities. Whether listening to music teaches you to enjoy the simple pleasure of enjoying a band you love, or pottery teaches you how to enjoy the feel of physically creating something again, the pure enjoyment of being creative, or enjoying creativity is something that shouldn’t be underestimated. If you had a hobby or talent that has fallen to the side-lines for a number of years, there’s no time like the present to take it up again. Learning to re-train in a practice can take a bit of time, particularly if you’re a bit rusty, but it might ultimately be worth it.
Creativity has many benefits for each person practices it, even outside of therapy. Being able to focus your mind on something positive, and indulge in something that you genuinely enjoy is something that should never be underestimated. Whether you take to learning how to create stained glass, use oil paints for the first time or write poetry, creativity is sometimes a form of therapy in its own right.