Thursday, 5 May 2016

How to help unleash the therapeutic powers of creativity

Creativity has such an important role in society and I don’t think people realise how therapeutic it can actually be. When you are doing something creative, you are allowing your mind to switch off for that moment in time while you are focusing purely on the present, nothing else. Whether it is through, drawing, painting, dancing, singing, playing an instrument… whatever creative outlet you choose, that time that you decide to give yourself is so beneficial to your mind and soul.

I would like to share some tips below on how you too can benefit from the healing powers of creativity.

How you can help unleash the therapeutic powers of creativity

Choose something that you are passionate about

When you do something that you truly love it can fill you with so much happiness, you literally get lost with what you are creating. So find a topic that is close to your heart, mine is art, but the possibilities are endless with subjects to choose from. A good way of finding something you are passionate about is to ask yourself, what did you like doing as a child? What activities truly made you happy?

Take some time out now and again to create just for you

I do this a few times a year where everything gets pushed to the backburner for a day or two and I literally throw paint on a canvas. It is so important to take some time out just for you now and again, it really does help. We are all very busy in this day and age, but I cannot stress how important it is to allow yourself this time. It helps rid negativity and anxiety and balances your energy out on to a more level plane.

Keep things simple

To truly enjoy the therapeutic process of creativity, don’t over think things. You are not creating your next masterpiece… you are simply having fun. If it turns out awful, who cares, just enjoy the time you have given yourself to be creative. With the workshops I ran some children were not comfortable with drawing, so I had a load of colouring sheets on hand too of some designs. The colouring in seemed to be just as beneficial to the children as creating the designs.

Get people involved in group activities

By far the best and most therapeutic form for me personally, is when I actually go out and interact with people. Whether it is at a school reading, at a painting party or at workshops, all of them fill me with so much joy. Children are so easy to please, as long as you are willing to spend time with them, encourage them and listen, that is all they need to have a happy experience. By seeing other people happy, it makes you happy. I was on a complete high after two days of interacting with children and being creative with them.

You can create groups to suit your creative outlet, volunteer with organizations, run a club… so many options. Hanging out with like minded individuals will feed your soul.

Create from the heart

Listen to what your heart is telling you, if you are feeling sad and blue, or angry then express that in your chosen creative outlet. By releasing what is within, you will feel so much lighter and your heart less heavy. Likewise if you are on a high then channel that into your creation and you will most probably fall in love with what you have created. It’s amazing how different moods can effect the outcome, but the main thing to get the therapeutic benefits, is to go with what’s in the heart, don’t think just do.

Being creative has always been a massive part of my life and always will be. Some people are naturally gifted in this area but everyone, and I mean everyone can draw. Just because your level of drawing skills goes as far as stick men, it does not mean that there is no creativity in you. It does make me sad when people say things like, “I can’t draw” or “I am rubbish at art”. You do not need to be an artist to benefit from the therapeutic powers of creativity.
Creativity allows us to embrace our inner child, a quality I believe we should all embrace with open arms. To see life through the eyes of a child is truly the best way to make the most of your life. It is no wonder that so many creatives are big kids at heart. Life can be difficult at times and it is so easy to get sucked into the seriousness of being a grown up, but taking up a creative pass time allows you to find that playful side to you.

“Every child is an artist, the problem is staying an artist when you grow up.”-Pablo Picasso

All forms of creativity is incredibly therapeutic and it helped me through a bad time in my life. I still rely on it to this day along with meditation to get me through dark spells. When things get too much as they tend to do at times, I literally throw paint on a canvas; this is usually when my darker pieces get painted. It works every time though, I literally feel a weight lifted, and I am able to approach things with a fresh head after.

This year I want to explore the therapeutic side of creativity more, by using everything that I have learned over the years to help others. My first step is to work with children and to see how art benefits them. I ran my first children’s workshops last weekend on creating mandala designs for my new business venture Artypeace. The great thing about these designs are that they are so easy to do yet look quite complicated. It also turns out that a mandala is the symbol used in hinduhism and budhism to assist during meditation... my angels did a great job sending that little nugget into my head, I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect subject for my workshops.  

I had the most amazing weekend hanging out with kids of all ages. There were so many different personalities, you had the very confident children, the cheeky ones, the shy and the quiet ones. Some kids would come in and just want to sit with me, have a natter and colour in, others just wanted to zone out with their creations. I cannot tell you how rewarding it was to see all these different personalities and age groups get stuck in and really enjoy what they were doing. Some children were with me for hours and the whole experience is one I will never forget.
I heard a lot of “I can’t draw” and the look on their faces after I guided them with creating their own mandala was priceless. I can’t wait to do more events to help children appreciate creativity more. The dream eventually is to study art therapy to help people on a  deeper level, but that will require much studying and time so I am really not sure how that will pan out. For now I am just having fun with it all and learning from each experience. The main thing that did stand out was how beneficial creating something is for children, I already knew how it has helped me as a grown up.

Every one of us can find at least one creative outlet, the tricky part is making the time to utilise it. I guarantee though, if you do let your inner child out to have a play once in a while, you will grow to love that side of you.

Do you use your creative hobby as a form of healing? If so what works for you? Please feel free to leave your feedback in the comments below.

Much love to you all.