The physical and emotional health benefits of music and art therapy, and creative expression using movement and writing are all well documented. Engaging in the arts promotes self-discovery and self-reflection, reduces negative thought patterns and behaviors, and heals emotional wounds. To learn more, read The Connection Between Art, Healing and Public Health: A literature review from the American Journal of Public Health.
If you have a particular talent for making music, painting, building or singing, exercise that talent regularly. It will build confidence and provide inspiration. Don’t think you have any creative talents? Beauty is relative… give it a try; you may surprise yourself. Also, using technology, we can all create something beautiful. Find mandalas or printable coloring pages or apps, or visit http://weavesilk.com for an interactive way to create images with shape and color.
Feel the music!
Feel the music! Choose a few songs using the internet, or your personal music selection. Take time to listen to them from start to finish. Give yourself permission to feel the emotions brought out by the lyrics and the beat – positive or negative. It’s also a great idea to create playlists for different moods – something for when you need to relax, when you need a good cry, or when you need to feel energized to clean or get some exercise. This helps us become more self-aware of our emotions and manage those uncomfortable ones, too.
Write it down!
Journaling or writing a letter to someone (even if it’s never sent) can help us process confusing or uncomfortable feelings, practice gratitude or feel inspired. Use a writing prompt, such as the ones below. What you do with your writing is up to you…rip it up, read it aloud in private, at an open mic or as a recording to share with others.
“I feel powerful when…”
“I feel loved when…”
“Today, I am grateful for…”
“This week, I will work hard to…”