In the previous newsletter, we explored the power of sharing personal narratives around mental health. We are aware that mental health challenges show up uniquely for everyone and it is also something that makes expression of these emotions unique.
Emotions are a fundamental aspect of the human experience, and finding healthy ways to understand and express them is crucial for our overall well-being. There must be times when you’d have been at a loss of words while trying to express your feelings but you still managed to express yourself. All of us have different and unique, mediums of communication. Besides traditional talk therapy, creative expression provides a safe and effective outlet for individuals to navigate challenging and distressing feelings.
Here's a glimpse of how various forms of creativity can facilitate emotional healing:
Art - For years, art has aided therapists in helping individuals process their emotions and put into paper how they are feeling. Art does a great job of offering insights and promoting self-awareness through visuals. One can use various forms of art for self-expression, such as sculpting, drawing, doodling, painting, and even do-it-yourself projects.
Music - Music holds the unique ability to evoke emotions and memories. Playing an instrument, composing, or simply listening to music can regulate mood, alleviate stress, and induce relaxation. It can also foster a sense of connection and belonging when shared with others.
Dance and Movement Therapy - It is not uncommon for body movements to help people release emotional tension or even build energy within their body when they are feeling low. Dance and movement therapies encourage the physical expression of emotions, helping individuals connect with their bodies. These therapies can be especially beneficial for those who struggle to express themselves verbally.
Writing - Whether through journaling, poetry, or storytelling, writing enables us to make sense of our experiences and emotions. It is a symbol of taking control of our narrative and making it a powerful tool for healing.
Hobbies - Apart from being recreational activities, hobbies can be a channel of self-expression and release. It helps us be mindful of the present and promote relaxation. It can be anything ranging from pottery to adventures, video making, and even photography.
How do we get started with this journey of nurturing our creative expression?
Set the tone: Before taking off on this journey, take some time to think about what you want to do and what it means to you. Setting the intention and prioritizing creative expression, as much as you’d prioritize work, is crucial.
Start small: Dedicate a specific time for your chosen creative outlet that makes you feel calm. Don’t hesitate to experiment with different mediums and feel no pressure to ‘be good’ at it. Remember, you are doing this for yourself.
Say ‘yes’ to experiments: The best thing about creativity is that you define it. Try anything and everything that you want to, to gain a fresh perspective.
Build a Community: Connect with like-minded people. Join local or online groups dedicated to creative expression. Sharing your work with others can provide support, feedback, and a sense of belongingness.
Seek Guidance: Consider working with professional art therapists, music therapists, or mental health professionals who incorporate creative therapies into their practice, especially if you're dealing with complex emotions.
Creative expression is not just about creating art; it's about creating a path towards emotional healing and growth. It allows us to dive into the depths of our emotions, making sense of our inner world. Remember that there is no right or wrong way to engage in creative expression—what matters most is the journey itself.