Liberate your creativity

Expressing yourself creatively is one the most potent ways of busting everyday stress, reveals Vinesh Sukumaran

Pencil: creativity locked

Art is the only way to run away without leaving home.
— Twyla Tharp

In this era likes, tweets and Whatsapp messages, the human mind has lost its natural state. Expression, for example, is a basic human instinct. But due to the nature of corporate hierarchies, social conditioning and sometimes even governments, people are forced to curb these instincts, resulting in harmful consequences. For instance, you return home after a hectic day at work, eat a heavy dinner and fall asleep, without doing anything to alleviate the stress that you have accumulated during the day. This cycle continues for weeks, months and years—you keep feelings of guilt, anger and revenge pent up for an extended period of time. These bottled up emotions eventually become toxic and give rise to disease—both physical and mental.

But don’t get disheartened. Art can help you prevent and even reverse the harmful effects caused by your suppressed emotions.

The therapeutic power of art

I once asked a distinguished art therapist in Japan, “What is it about art that gives it its therapeutic quality?” She said, “It silences your mind and, if required, empties it and brings it back to its truest and most natural state of being.” She went on to tell me how she had used art to relieve people of challenges like stress, body aches, worry, as well as cure people of cancer, heart ailments, depression, strokes and bipolar disorder.

Even for those of you who aren’t directly involved in the creation of art, merely visiting a good art gallery to watch an art exhibition or display of paintings helps. The silence of the art gallery, the beauty of the pieces displayed and the stillness and serene energy slows the mind from its usual breakneck pace.

Art can help you prevent and even reverse the harmful effects caused by your suppressed emotions

Here are a few ways to help you embark on the journey of discovering the therapeutic value of art.

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This was first published in the September 2014 issue of Complete Wellbeing.

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