Recovery is a time when our brains begin to heal from the damages caused by alcohol and drugs. It can be a long process, but there are many things we can do to naturally promote healing and improve our cognitive functions. Getting involved in creative expression through artistic means can be an effective way of improving our cognition and brain power in our newfound sobriety. Engaging in creative acts can be a great way to exercise you brain. Painting, drawing, playing an instrument, or any other activity that involves creative thinking can help improve cognitive functioning. According to Dr. Michael Posner, in a 2009 article for the DANA Foundation, How Arts Training Improves Attention and Cognition, “Sustained training in music, dance or other arts strengthens the brain’s attention system, which in turn may improve cognition more generally,” and “the growing body of scientific work that suggests arts training can improve cognitive function—including our view, which identifies stronger attention networks as the mechanism—opens a new avenue of study for cognitive researchers.” The ability to improve our mental faculties through creative acts is due, in part, to the way these activities foster brain plasticity. To put it simply, creative acts, specifically playing instruments, exercise our brain. Christopher Bergland, in a 2014 Psychology Today article entitled Eight Habits that Improve Cognitive Function, points out that” neuroscientists discovered multiple ways that musical training improves the function and connectivity of different brain regions and improves cognitive function. Practicing a musical instrument increases brain volume and strengthens communication between brain areas.” Not only can creativity help improve our cognitive ability, but it can also improve our mood and mental health. According to a 2010 article for Harvard Health Publishing, this is due to getting into a “flow” of creativity when they become completely absorbed in the activity: “When people are in the flow state, they are meeting challenges as they create, and every time they are successful, the reward center in the brain is activated and they get a little burst of dopamine. Sometimes they are not even aware of being happy, but the reward center and the dopamine are influencing them and driving them forward in their behavior.” When we let ourselves get engrossed in a creative act, we find that our overall mental health and well-being is improved, and we may even discover that we had more talent than we ever realized!
Through recovery, you may find that you are finally able to express yourself in ways you never thought possible. You can begin building a better future by making the decision to seek help for addiction and alcoholism now. Oceanfront Recovery, a treatment facility in beautiful Laguna Beach, offers a variety of cutting-edge treatment techniques, including Art and Music Therapy, to help you develop all the tools necessary to achieve and maintain sobriety. For more information about individualized treatment options, please call today: (877) 279-1777