There are so many paths to creativity. By moving your body, speaking written word, writing your thoughts down or creating an art piece, you allow yourself to express where you are in that moment. Some of these creative disciplines include; drama, dance, music, yoga, acting, written word, and visual arts. All these disciplines engage the participant in a process that uses a holistic approach to access physical, mental, spiritual and social well-being.
The benefits of self-expression through creativity are for everyone at any age. Children, youth, adults and the elderly can all participate in self-expression. Varying types of creative arts activities enable people to understand who they are on a non-verbal level. It can be utilized to express thoughts, feeling, and memories that are too big or too difficult to put into words. Self-expression can lead us to a deeper level of understanding and self-discovery.
This theme is vital to our work here at the RVA Creative Wellness Center. We believe that any exposure to the arts and creative expression can support people in finding joy and allows them to live their lives to the fullest. The idea that the arts and creative expression can make a powerful contribution to well-being has been embraced in many different cultures. Throughout recorded history, people have used music, pictures, stories, dances, and art as ways to express themselves. In one online publication, “The Connection between Art, Healing, and Public Health: A Review of Current Literature[i]”, researchers analyzed and reported on the findings of over 100 studies done on the effects of art well-being. They found that music and visual arts affected people in these positive ways:
- Art lets people forget about their illness for a while, allowing them to focus on positive life experiences.
- Creating art enabled people to maintain their identity of who they were before the illness.
- Creating art gave people a sense of achievement.
- Art helped people express their feelings.
- Art reduced stress by lowering levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
– Sabrina Cordovana