From scribbling of crayons in a kindergarten classroom, to quiet focus of painting in the kitchen, or the bubbling joy of building a snowman, one thing is certain. Art is healing.
Creating art serves as a means to vent negative emotions as well as building on positive ones. The therapeutic aspect of art often happens without people even realizing it. According to PsychologyToday.com, “The arts integrate what happens inside and outside conscious thought, the visible and invisible acts of creating.” Making art, even doodling, drawing stick figures, or painting blobs, can release tension and upset from the subconscious mind.
“Artistic expression transforms the most difficult and troublesome things using their energy to create […] it does something with them that only art can do.” PsychologyToday.com insisted that making art provides a catharsis that is not easily achieved with other activities. There are not abundant studies on how art affects specific parts of the brain in a therapeutic manner, as art therapy is a relatively recent phenomenon.
However, it is common for people with recurring emotional intensity episodes report feeling calmer when they make art. Programs such as STEPPS, Stairways, and other dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) courses often suggest using creative expression as a coping or distraction mechanism.
StreetArtNews.com stated, “Through art, we revisit the ordinary, discovering the extraordinary that we had not noticed before.” In this sense, through the creative process, people are able to gain a greater appreciation for the positive aspects of their lives.
The site elaborated on being able to share the love and healing of artwork with others. “It is part of our universal desire to connect with each other. The artist has a view of the world that he or she wants to share with others. In turn, the viewer is inspired by a different perspective on life.”
It is reasonable to suggest, then, that viewing artwork can give almost as much emotional freedom and release as creating art does. Viewing artwork can be equally helpful, as it opens the mind to new possibilities and ideas.
StreetArtNews.com finished off, “Beautiful art reminds us of our own struggles for truth, for meaning, for passionate self-expression. It touches us on a fundamental level, expressing our hopes and dreams, and our struggles and losses. It reminds us of our eternal quest to define who we are in the world.”
Creating artwork allows the artist to resolve internal conflict, vent pain, and grow their overall positivity. Similarly, viewing artwork allows the audience to open their minds to new and unique perspectives, and perhaps find solidarity with the creator.
In either case, artwork can be considered healing for the mind and soul. So? Go the local art gallery. Pull out the pen and paper, the paints and brushes, even a few pieces of string. Make a sculpture out of sticks and twine. Follow artists online.
Students need to take care of themselves, and art can be a very easy way to do so. Art is in everything. Take care of yourself.