How Creativity Can Heal Your Mind
How Creativity Can Heal Your Mind
How do you feel after a stressful day? I’m referring to the kind of day when all you’ve done is problem solve, number crunch, chase the kiddies, or attempt to meet unrealistic deadlines of any kind. Such is the life of an adult, however, I’m not here to complain or pontificate about the downfalls of a demanding modern society. What do you do to calm your mind, heal the rough edges, if you will, of task and information overload?
The human brain is a marvelous contraption. Most of us have heard how the left side of our brain controls logic and complex mathematical computations, while the right side is basically the ruler of all visual imagery and language comprehension. As an artistic-type child, I found great pleasure in drawing pictures or writing little poems and short stories. My creativity never left my side, later morphing into a love of music and songwriting as I grew into an adult. (I guess you could say I am more of a “right-brainer”.)
If you do an online search for “art therapy”, you will find countless articles on its benefits. From a tactile/sensory point of view, art in many forms has been known to subdue a restless nervous system. From simple crafts and finger-painting to basket-weaving and sculpting; it’s truly all-encompassing! So, you may be reading this and relating to every word I’ve just written. Or… you just might be saying to yourself, “well isn’t that wonderful, but I don’t have a creative bone in my body! I have no desire to sketch, paint, or sculpt. I am no candidate for art therapy – and hey, I love algebra”!
Well, if either are the case, you are in luck. After all, I didn’t entitle this piece, “How Your Creativity Can Heal Your Mind”. While I am all for seeking out new endeavors and traveling the unbeaten path, there are few things worse than forcing yourself into a mold in which you do not feel comfortable. So maybe you signed up for a painting class and felt completely out of your element. Maybe you don't feel inclined at the moment to take up a musical instrument, or you tried your hand at creative writing, and found it far more frustrating than enjoyable. "So much for art therapy", you say. "And as for writing, it’s not so cathartic when I’m hung on a participle."
In case you haven’t noticed, creativity (and creation) is all around us. You don’t have to be an artist to appreciate or even acknowledge its existence. Have you ever walked past a beautiful garden and admired its design and beauty? Well, that arrangement is a form of art. Have you enjoyed a delicious meal prepared by an amazing cook? Well, there certainly is an art to cooking. Have you listened to a song that completely lifted your spirits or made you feel or realize something you never have before? Music is art too! The same goes for that book or essay you just couldn’t tear yourself away from. And don't you think someone designed and created that game app you were playing on your smart-phone while waiting in the doctor’s office? Of course these are just a few examples proving that creativity does have the capacity to calm our minds and bring joy, even if it is just for a moment. Many times though, it is through the creativity of others that this occurs, and so often we do not even realize it is happening.
So if you are, as I am, one to ease your mind through actually participating in some form of the arts, well then you are on the right track toward your own personal fulfillment. And if you are someone who thoroughly enjoys the creations of others, while not being a “creative type”, but finding solace in its existence, you are most certainly on the path toward a fulfilled and peaceful mind. For without you, what other reason do artists have to create? Maybe you are not creating something tangible or audible; maybe you are creating an opportunity for those things to exist. Whether you are a “left-brainer” or a “right-brainer”, there is something in this world for all of us, and we all play an integral part in life’s masterpiece.