Painting. Singing. Drawing. Writing. Decorating. Composing. Playing. Dancing. Designing. No matter which form of creativity you’re interested in, all of these activities and more can have a profound, positive influence on your mental illness recovery. How so? Being creative means that you get to express yourself in a whole new dimension – there are no right or wrongs, no criticisms, no limits, and no audiences (if you don’t want there to be). Even if you don’t consider yourself a creativity person, engaging in creativity can help you spark more ideas, thus leading you to further insights and solutions to issues you may not even have considered. If creative activities (such as acting) are done in a group setting, this could also be a great way for you to connect with others and build your social support network.
A study published in the American Journal of Public Health emphasized a few (but not all) benefits of various creative activities:
Music engagement: listening to, playing, singing, lyric analysis, composing, etc.
- Helps restore emotional balance
- Calms neural activity in the brain
- May lead to reductions in anxiety and restore effective functioning of the immune system
Visual arts: drawing, painting, sculpting, designing, photography, etc.
- Distracts thoughts of illness
- Great method for expression of intense feelings such as grief
- Increases positive feelings
Movement-based creative expression: acting, dancing, etc.
- Improvements in physical symptoms such as shoulder range of motion
- Expands patterns of consciousness
- Improves cognitive and psychological measures
Expressive writing: journaling, blogging, etc.
- Improvements in anger expression
- Improves pain, fatigue, depressive symptoms
- Decreased poor sleep
The right treatment center for you will have options for you to engage in creative activity through some or all of these modes of therapy. Healing often occurs when individuals become completely engaged in the activity without thoughts of worry or concern. Creative expression in therapy is not meant to be judged or critiqued but is rather meant to serve as a lesson for learning and growth. Speak with a professional from a reputable treatment center today to learn more about adding creative therapy to your treatment regime.
Avalon Malibu is a world-renowned, California state-licensed mental health and substance abuse recovery center. If you are ready to seek treatment to develop the tools you need to overcome life’s obstacles and be on the road towards happiness, health, and well-being, call us today at 888-958-7511 for a consultation. It’s never too late, and there are people here ready to help you.