“Art is something that makes you breathe with a different kind of happiness.” – Anni Albers
Art in all its forms is a great healing medium, there is nothing a good song or painting can’t solve.
Art calms us down and relieves us of panic and stress. It also increases our creativity and enables us to freely express ourselves. Artwork enables people to take out their subdued emotions and express themselves in a creative manner. Expression heals us. It expands our horizon and allows our mind to think big.
It facilitates people to face their emotions and feelings head-on and in turn conquering them. Doing art is a self discovery journey and it helps us discover our true self. It also makes us feel good about ourselves and feel empowered and productive, thus increasing our self belief.
And this is backed up by scientific research. Numerous researches claim that mental illnesses reduce our creativity and that creative and expressive therapies are often a successful method to heal psychological illnesses. They also show that art reduces blood pressure, frees our mind of negative thoughts, reduces anxiety and pain and is an effective relaxation tool.
In survivor rehabilitation centers, art can be used as a medium to reduce loneliness and a sense of isolation among the rehabilitated. It instills a sense of belonging and identity and helps curb negative thoughts and emotions.
In addition to visual art, the musical aspect of art acts as a form of healing for survivors as well. For example, playing music for veterans of World War II became extremely popular, as many of them were “shell-shocked” after battle and faced severe repercussions. Musical healing came about around the 20th century and has gotten more popular ever since. The idea of calming sounds and lyrics can really help someone, especially in musical therapy programs. They promote wellness, communication, memory, and even can promote physical rehabilitation. There are around 5,000 certified music therapists in America, under the American Music Therapy Association. The reason why art and music can help even more is because of how it allows survivors to express themselves in ways never before.
It is often hard to write down one’s emotions and thoughts, but listening to a piece of music or creating an artistic piece can help convey those feelings. Creativity gives them a safe space to allow compassion to come into their hearts, and replace the damage or trauma in wonderful ways.