8 Healing Benefits of Art

8 Healing Benefits of Art
Those who don’t describe themselves as an artist often shy away from the thought of creating their own piece of expression. They think, “I'm not good enough” or “I could never do that.” Truth is, if you push through those initial negative words, you may be surprised with what you can do. And what you can create isn't as important as why you should create.

There are multiple forms of art, and some who categorize themselves as artists even say that everything is art. Regardless of how you define it, creating art can bring healing benefits if you open your mind, body and spirit to the process.

What Type of Art Is Right for You?

If you’re just starting out, it can feel a little overwhelming. You may feel that if you join a class, you’ll be judged. Or that if you try something and fail, then you’re a failure. Rest assured, everyone starts from the beginning. Do a little research on your own so you have an understanding of what you’re doing. This helps with confidence. Be honest when you arrive, and let the instructor know you are out of your element. Artists love to spread the love of creativity and are generally eager to share their knowledge.

There is probably a list of things you haven't tried yet, so you may not know what type of art to try first. Here are some ideas. What jumps out at you? If there is anything that once (even as a child) had your attention, curiosity, or entertains you, start there.

  • Music
  • Dance
  • Painting
  • Chalk
  • Decorating your home or for an event
  • Clay/Pottery
  • Wicker
  • Drawing
  • Glass
  • Beads
  • Jewelry
If you decide not to take a formal course, YouTube tutorials, books, friends, and family are also options for learning.

What Healing Benefits Come from Participating in Art?

Engaging in art is a moment in time when time itself seems to stand still. You become so intertwined with your concentration, flow, and self-expression, the other thoughts that can typically over power your mood dissipate. For this reason, it is important to begin something new without the worry of a hard stopping point. Give yourself the gift of being in the present. Here are eight ways in which art can heal you from the inside out.

1. Self-Expression

In your busy life of work, household chores, children, and other responsibilities, you have very little time (if any) for true self-expression. Get back to giving yourself this gift. Self-expression gives you the space to process who you are during a particular time in your life and provides an opportunity for your soul to be heard.

2. Releasing Judgment

This may take a little practice. Many people think they must create these amazing works of art that compare to what they have seen from professionals. How do you think they became professionals? Everyone started just where you are now. They too may have thought their craft was not worthy of others to see. So refrain from judging yourself in the process. Laugh at your mistakes, then remind yourself it may not have been a mistake at all. This lesson can be carried over into the rest of your life as well.

3. Intuition/Third Eye

Your intuition can guide you in every way of life, if you allow it. Art is a safe and personal way to learn to live into your intuition versus merely following your thoughts. What stroke of the brush or dance move does your soul want? What thought stops or slows down that gut feeling? Your struggle through these combating feelings carry over into your job, relationships, and self-love. Take note of these challenges. Your intuition and happiness will grow stronger in this process.

4. Meditation

Maybe you have a rough time with the “standard” ways of meditation. Your brain just doesn't slow down enough for you to reap the benefits, or you don't even try because you feel as though you are just too hyper. Art may be the perfect form of meditation for you. The hands and brain are focused on a non-stressful activity just long enough to allow you to drift off into a meditative state. From here, other forms of meditation will become easier. You may also choose to craft a mandala, providing meditation during and after the project.

5. Giving and Receiving

One of the laws of the universe, giving and receiving is pivotal to healing, abundance, and manifesting the joys of life. Your art can be a gift to yourself and to others. Keeping the circle of both giving and receiving is the lesson. If you have a harder time giving, then create something and present it to a loved one. If you have a harder time receiving, give yourself permission to enjoy your art just for you. Accept it as a gift and cherish it.

6. Acceptance

If you are not fully satisfied with your art, that's OK. Accept your journey. There is success in stepping outside of your comfort zone, so be proud! Accept that you can try again for your vision, or accept that you may need to once again try something different. Wherever you are, accept that you’re good enough just as you.

7. Create Calmness

Often your home can feel like a to-do list. Let the chores stay where they are, round up the family, and create an art activity that will bring calmness to all of you. By engaging in such an activity, you create an environment marked by rest and creativity. It may surprise you how much more help you will receive to get done what needs to get done and even better... everyone is happier.

8. Unity

There are so many races, religions, traditions, and cultures that love and embrace art. It has the power to bring people together in meaningful ways. Bring a community together with an art project of your choice and heal the town. It might even create ripples felt across the globe.

Now that you have the basics, your mind is probably thinking of all sorts of ideas not mentioned here. Grab your notebook and write them down. After all, writing is an art form, too.