In her book The Artist’s Way, Julia Cameron states that humans are naturally creative beings – we have an innate desire to express ourselves and seek beauty in our surroundings. Visual art, music, literature, and performances have been a part of the human experience for thousands of years, and they offer incredible benefits for both creators and consumers. Art therapy has been used in mental health treatment because it gives patients a medium for expressing the thoughts and emotions that might be hard to verbalize, and it allows them to discover new things about themselves.
Art has always been an important part of my life, and my appreciation for it has evolved as I grew up and began struggling with my mental health. When I was younger, I took dance classes, wrote stories, and listened to music because these things simply made me happy. When I began feeling depressed as a teenager, art was both a distraction and a processing tool; it could lift my spirits and take my mind off of something that was bothering me, or it could help me realize what I was feeling and work through my emotions. Both happy and sad songs have gotten me through difficult times!
I am continually inspired by authors, musicians, and all other types of artists whose work I connect with, and I have found solace in creating my own art as well. I share my stories through creative channels, such as writing plays or choreographing dances about my own experiences. It’s a powerful way for me to acknowledge and address the mental health issues that have weighed heavily on me for years. It is my method of healing – it allows me to open up to others and find the support I need. If you’re struggling with your mental health, see if a creative activity can help you work through your thoughts and feelings! Or you can simply observe art, such as reading poetry, listening to music, or visiting a museum. It’s an incredible way to feel peaceful and inspired!
How do you engage with art? Do you do anything creative to help with your mental health? What recommendations do you have? Share your experiences below!