Catharsis through creativity
Did you know that your love for art and craft can fend off feelings of anxiety, worry, and negativity? Swati Moheet Agrawal urges you to pursue creative endeavours and reclaim inner peace and joy
Everyone we meet carries a personal wound that comes floating to the surface every once in a while. All of us are battling struggles others can’t see. Every person walking on the street bears an untold story inside of them. We are all hurting, we are all healing, and we are all in transition. Either we can let pain define us or we can use it as a vehicle for personal growth and transformation. When life takes a detour, keep pressing forward like a warrior. Whether you are coping with an injury, mental or physical illness, death, divorce, a financial crunch, or self-image issues, you are not alone and help is around the corner. Now you can indulge in art and craft to heal; it helps tremendously.
Wash away the dust of everyday life from the soul
Art and craft are undeniably beautiful forms of expression and release. Give vent to those bottled up feelings and emotions by engaging in creative pursuits like painting, writing, photography, pottery, sculpture, knitting, crocheting, scrapbooking, and cooking. Every day, thoughts and concerns take a backseat as you splatter paint onto a canvas or lose yourself in ikebana, the Japanese traditional art of flower arrangement.
Art and craft are a great way to decompress from everyday pressures and bring life to monotonous drab days. They keep you occupied in a constructive, healthy manner and infuse excitement into routine life. You have something to look forward to, something to create. Creating sparks joy—it raises your serotonin levels too!
Respite from noise
In this busy age, we are grappling with various challenges, personally and professionally. We are always on the go, perpetually consumed by busyness and noise. In times of crippling anxiety and debilitating fears, art and craft can keep us sane and balanced. Slow, repetitive activities like knitting can help the mind relax. The act of performing a task over and over again breaks the train of thoughts and distracts us from all the noise. Seemingly boring activities like beading can help us recover from excessive stimulation. Time spent crocheting helps us focus on the here and now; we begin to concentrate on the task at hand, thereby keeping nagging thoughts at bay. Crafting is as much a stress buster as meditation is.
The very act of ‘creating’ something calms the restless mind and soothes the weary soul. A state of complete absorption or flow wards off worry, anger, jealousy, and feelings of paranoia. So, exercise your creativity as much as you can and revel in those moments of reprieve from chaos.
A beautiful gift
Art and craft are fun, blissful, and fulfilling. They also fill any void in your life and give you a psychological lift. For instance, decoupage gives a tremendous sense of satisfaction as you recycle an old mason jar into a beautiful work of art. Revamping old plastic boxes, frying pans, ceramic jars, or planters can help relieve a great deal of stress. Likewise, great tranquillity and joy arise in your being when you lose yourself in composing soulful music or painting a masterpiece. Art and craft are expressive tools that help you empty your mind and externalise what’s inside. You learn to tap into your own inner resources instead of hungering for people and things in the external world. You begin to heal as you redirect all negativity into creativity. The gift of art and craft has the power to transport you into another world and helps you unblock and transform.
Art and craft are associated with profound calming and relaxation benefits. For instance, quilting is almost a Zen-like experience. It can be used for managing feelings of pain and grief; you end up losing yourself in colours, fabrics, and designs. The interplay of threads and fibres has a calming effect on the mind. Stress reduction can make battling cancer, schizophrenia, loneliness, or depression a lot more manageable. It helps you find joy in the present moment and gives hope and healing. Art and craft boost your mood and induce relaxation. Moreover, they have a strong anti-ageing effect on the mind and body. This is because creativity rewires the brain and leads to increased happiness and overall well-being.
Soren Kierkegaard rightly said, “I need the enchantment of creative work to help me forget life’s mean pettinesses.”
Take a creative vacation the next time you feel like your world is falling apart. A creative vacation is as rejuvenating as a fun holiday or trip. Unleash your imagination and release your deepest feelings as you doodle, sketch, or paint. Knitting a hat or repainting dull walls can keep you from binge eating or other unhealthy ways of managing emotions.
Art and craft can heal the chasm in your life and make you feel whole again! Collaging, sewing, making jewellery, etc., are a great antidote to stress. Change the way you deal with life’s curveballs with a little help from art and craft. Externalise your internal world: write what you’re afraid to write, paint to expel inner chaos, and engage in gardening to vent anger and aggression.
Shut the world out for a little while and feed your soul! Make time for art and craft.
To quote from Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way, “Creativity is God’s gift to us. Using our creativity is our gift back to God.”
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