Updated: Jan 19
Art-making allows us to use our emotions as creative fuel!
Creative self-expression and the art-making process is a great tool for managing strong emotions. Instead of letting the roller coaster of emotions overrun your life, you can channel those emotions to fuel your creativity. The art-making process can be a space where it feels safe to openly express (or vent) your feelings. It takes courage to sit with unwanted or unpleasant feelings, but if you can do this, and channel those feelings through your creativity, you can reduce the emotional pain.
Expressing your emotions can help you reduce stress, self-soothe, and create positive feelings. Studies show that using your hands for crafting or creating, releases hormones that make you feel good. This is a great option for people who don’t like talking about their problems.
A study was done by the Journal of Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts found the following: “Art-making was an effective way of venting feelings about problems.”
In another study, published in the Journal of Health Psychology (2006), by researchers Collie, Bottorff, and Long, found that the art-making process allowed participants to “see” what they were feeling. It stated art-making, “…led to other things, such as acceptance, resolution, empowerment, healing, decision [making], and reduced fear.”
The first step of tapping into the healing benefits of creativity around your emotions and feelings is that you must acknowledge them. By expressing and accepting the strong emotions/feelings you have, they lose the power to affect your life in negative ways. The creative process allows us to express these feelings from a place of curiosity so the emotions and feelings no longer feel scary or overwhelming. If you are angry, frustrated, scared, lonely, or happy, use all these feelings as the raw fuel for your creativity.
Here are 7 Ways Creative Expression Can Help You Manage Your Emotions:
1. When you are feeling anxious, performing a creative activity, such as adult coloring, will help you to focus on the present moment. This will help to slow and deepen your breathing rate, activating the rest and renew response.
2. When you feel overwhelmed, and ungrounded, you can slow down and center yourself by making/coloring a mandala. 3. When feeling sad, creating Art can help remind you of the joy of playing with paints, crayons, and other art supplies.
4. When you are confused and unsure of what the right decision is, you can do an intuitive collage and reflective journaling to connect you to your inner guidance.
5. When you have low self-esteem, creative expression can lift your self-worth by helping you to feel alive and inspired.
6. When you are feeling isolated, crafting, and creating art with others will give you a community of support with like-minded people.
7. When you are feeling alone, your art journal can be your companion. Letting you unburden yourself. A place to share your fears and worries without judgment.
How can you use creativity to express your emotions?
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