Home LifestyleMental Health The Therapeutic Power of Creativity for Mental Well-Being

The Therapeutic Power of Creativity for Mental Well-Being

by Thaabit Kamaar
Image by Art Therapy South Africa

KwaZulu Natal – The act of expressing oneself verbally can present considerable challenges for numerous individuals, giving rise to obstacles in articulating thoughts, emotions, and needs. This verbal constraint contributes to internal suppression, potentially culminating in feelings of frustration, anxiety, and stress.

Nevertheless, engaging in art and other non-verbal forms of therapy provides a distinctive avenue for exploring and addressing suppressed emotional and psychological struggles.

Clinical Psychologist Quraisha Baig, who is passionate about artistic expression, emphasises that creativity triggers the release of chemicals in the cerebral cortex, the brain’s frontal region.

This stimulation contributes significantly to overall well-being. Furthermore, the effects of engaging in creative activities parallel the benefits of exercise and physical activity.

“It’s also a very mindful process where you kind of just let everything else filter into the background, and in that way, it can be very healing.”

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You Don’t Need to Be an Artist to Create Art

But what if you are not an artist? You might ask. According to Baig, proficiency in art is not a prerequisite to reap the therapeutic and healing advantages of engaging in artistic activities.

In the various art workshops she conducts, Baig encourages clients and participants not to inhibit themselves from expressing themselves. The artwork must not be visually stunning or have profound meaning. The key is to open oneself up and embrace creativity.

Through this approach and various techniques and processes, she asserts that individuals attain a deeper understanding of themselves when everything else fades into the background.

This heightened self-awareness enables insights into their psyche, facilitating the comprehension and processing of emotions, ultimately contributing to an improved mental state.

“It just creates a different sense of understanding where we’re more forgiving of ourselves. We tend to understand some of our behaviours a bit better. It just really promotes insight and gives people another tool in their toolbox to use to cope.”

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