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The Healing Qualities of Art

This guest post was written by Susan Day, mindful arts therapist.


Arts therapy has proven to be highly effective in promoting emotional well-being and healing. Through engaging in creative processes, you will be able to express and process your emotions in a non-verbal and symbolic way.


There are many forms of arts therapy. Painting, for example, can serve as a means of releasing pent-up anger or sadness. While writing can help you make sense of your experiences and find clarity. The use of music and dance can also provide a cathartic outlet for emotions. Thus, allowing you to connect with your bodies and express themselves in a physical and visceral manner.

An image of a desk filled with different arts supplies, such as paintings, paints, and brushes.
Arts therapy has proven to be highly effective in promoting emotional well-being.

Releasing Emotions


Engaging in an artistic, creative process can be a cathartic experience, allowing you to release pent-up emotions and gain a sense of relief. Art therapy provides a safe space for you to explore and express your innermost thoughts and feelings without fear of judgement or criticism.


Furthermore, art therapy is not limited to those people who have artistic abilities. It is a process that focuses on the act of creation rather than the final product. The emphasis is on self-expression and self-discovery, rather than artistic skill. This inclusive approach allows people from all backgrounds and abilities to benefit from the therapeutic power of art and begin their healing journey.


Mindfulness and Art


Mindful Arts Therapy combines the transformative practices of mindfulness and art therapy to create a powerful and holistic approach to healing and self-discovery. By engaging in the creative process with a mindful presence, you can tap into your inner wisdom, gain a deeper understanding of yourself, and promote emotional well-being. Whether through painting, drawing, sculpting, or writing, mindful arts therapy offers a unique and enriching journey of self-exploration and personal growth.


Through engaging in artistic activities, you are encouraged to explore new perspectives, break free from conventional thinking patterns, and unleash your imagination. The creative process involved in arts therapy allows you to experiment with different mediums, techniques, and styles, enabling you to discover new ways of expressing yourself.


As you delve deeper into arts therapy, you may find your mind becomes more open to unconventional ideas and approaches. This unleashed creativity can lead to fresh ideas, innovative solutions, and a unique approach to everything you do.


The Power of Creativity


The relationship between mindfulness and creativity is a powerful one. By practicing mindfulness, you not only activate the brain regions associated with creativity but also develop the qualities and skills necessary for creative thinking. Mindfulness enables you to access your authentic self, enhance your focus, reduce self-judgement, and foster curiosity. By incorporating mindfulness into your life, you can unlock your creative potential and bring forth unique and innovative ideas.


Through Mindful Arts Therapy, you can gain a new perspective on your emotions, learning to embrace and accept them without judgement. As you continue to engage in this practice, you develop a greater sense of emotional intelligence, enabling you to navigate life’s challenges with grace and resilience.

A drawing of a brain filled with colors, accompanied with paint brushes and notes. This image represent the positive effects mindful arts therapy has on our mental and emotional well-being.
Mindful Arts Therapy helps you develop a greater sense of emotional intelligence.

Art Therapy Heals Trauma


Art therapy is a powerful tool for healing trauma because it taps into the nonverbal aspects of the brain. The brain processes images differently than the way it processes words. This is what makes art therapy so effective in addressing trauma.


Art therapy has been used for many years to help people who have experienced trauma. As a form of therapy, it utilizes art to help people express themselves and work through their emotions. The process of creating art can be therapeutic in and of itself. However, it is especially helpful for people who have experienced trauma.


Through the use of different art therapy techniques, people can learn to express themselves in ways that they may not have thought possible. Art therapy can help you build resilience, manage your emotions, and recover from the negative effects of trauma. If you or someone you know is struggling with the effects of trauma, art therapy may be a beneficial form of treatment to explore.


Art Therapy as a Non-Verbal Approach


Art therapy can be particularly beneficial for people who struggle with verbal expression or find it difficult to articulate their emotions. This can lead to holding onto difficult emotions and inhibit healing. By using visual imagery, symbols, and metaphors, you can communicate and make sense of your experiences in a non-verbal and intuitive way.


Sometimes, trauma can be so overwhelming that it’s difficult to put words to the experience. Art therapy, with its nonverbal approach, helps you express your feelings without having to put them into words.


Through art therapy, you can communicate your emotions and experiences in a safe and supportive environment. This can be especially helpful for those who have experienced trauma, as it can be difficult to talk about these experiences.


Regulating Emotions


Emotional regulation is crucial for our overall well-being as it helps us to navigate the ups and downs of life more effectively. When we develop the skills to regulate our emotions, we are better equipped to handle stress, maintain healthy relationships, and make sound decisions.


Emotional regulation plays a significant role in our physical health, too. Research has shown that chronic stress and unregulated emotions can have detrimental effects on our immune system, cardiovascular health, and overall longevity. By learning to regulate our emotions, we can promote not only our mental and emotional well-being but also our physical health, improving our overall quality of life.


Conversely, difficulties in emotional regulation can lead to heightened emotional reactivity, impulsive behaviours, and interpersonal conflicts. Those who struggle with emotional regulation may find themselves overwhelmed by their emotions, leading to a cycle of negative thoughts and behaviours. This stops them from healing completely. By learning effective emotional regulation techniques in mindful arts therapy sessions, you can break free from this cycle and experience a greater sense of emotional well-being.


Your Healing Journey


As well, incorporating mindful arts practices into your daily routines can provide you with a constructive outlet for managing your healing journey. It allows you to develop the skills needed to empower your healing journey and take an active role in ensuring your emotional well-being.


It is important to note no matter where you are on your healing journey, the process of creating art can be inherently therapeutic. Engaging in a creative activity can promote relaxation, reduce stress, and increase feelings of self-awareness. These positive experiences can contribute to a sense of emotional well-being and resilience, further supporting your emotional well-being.


About the Author


Susan Day is a mindful arts therapist practitioner, author and artist. She has years of experience writing articles for websites and once edited a literary magazine. Susan is enthralled with the power of art and the written word to change people’s lives. You can find more articles on mindful arts therapy on her website, mindfulartstherapy.com.au, or you are welcome to check out her Mindful Art Therapy Books on Amazon.

Image of mindful arts therapist Susan Day.
Susan Day is a mindful arts therapist practitioner, author, and an artist.


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