Painting can be an effective way to eliminate stress and improve your overall mood. Art therapy, which includes painting and other forms of creative artistic expression, is a therapeutic practice utilizing art and creativity as a way of managing emotions and other mental issues. Making use of art therapy can be a great and fun way of managing the negative emotions that tend to strike us in early sobriety. Thomas Merton once said, “Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.” When we are painting or drawing, we find that we get lost in inspiration. We are able to connect with our subconscious and express ourselves in a way that we simply are unable to with words alone. An article for Be Brain Fit, The Mental Health Benefits of Art are for Everyone, explains: “Activities like painting, sculpting, drawing, and photography are relaxing and rewarding hobbies that can lower your stress levels and leave you feeling mentally clear and calm. Creating art provides a distraction, giving your brain a break from your usual thoughts. The average person has 60,000 thoughts per day and 95% of them are exactly the same day in, day out! When you get totally immersed in a creative endeavor, you may find yourself in what’s known as “the zone” or in a state of ‘flow.’ This meditative-like state focuses your mind and temporarily pushes aside all your worries.” Painting provides the same stress-reducing benefits of meditation while also stimulating the mind. We begin to concentrate more on technique and details as we paint, training ourselves to be more focused and creative in our thinking. Some people may be hesitant to begin painting or drawing because they don’t consider themselves “artistic.” However, one does not need any artistic ability to enjoy the mental benefits of creative expression. According to a 2014 Huffington Post article, 10 Easy Art Therapy Techniques to Help You De-Stress, “You do not have to be an artist to enjoy the benefits of art therapy. In fact, most of the exercises rely not on the final product you create but on the therapeutic, meditative ritual of the creative process.” We don’t need to concern ourselves with how our painting looks—rather, we benefit simply by engaging in the act. We may even be surprised by how much talent we actually have!
Your story can be one of hope and redemption in recovery. You can make the decision to seek help now and begin building a brighter future. Oceanfront Recovery, a treatment center in beautiful Laguna Beach, offers a variety of cutting-edge therapeutic techniques, including Music and Art Therapy, as part of the Residential Treatment Program. For more information about individualized treatment options, please call today: (877) 279-1777