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.
Do you like to doodle, draw or build things? Keep materials on hand that allow you to give yourself a “brain break” – playdoh, mandalas, legos, sketch pad or visit http://weavesilk.com for an interactive way to create images with shape and color. Just 5-10 minutes of being creative can help you reset and recharge your mind.
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. 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.