WritingGive your mind a voice through creative writing. When you’re feeling angry, write about it. Chances are it will make you feel better about the situation and provide you with the catharsis you once sought in a needle or at the bottom of a glass. Below are four ways to express yourself through the art of writing:
- Poetry: Don’t think about florid verse or rhyming every line. Put together words that sound good to you, and write what's in your heart. Let your hand become a conduit for your soul and write what you feel. Anything goes. Poetry is about expression, not form.
- Journaling: Keeping a journal lets you set down your honest feelings in a private, intimate, gratifying manner. One great exercise is a 15-minute writing sprint, where you start with a fresh page and don’t stop your pen for at least 15 minutes. You’ll find that you might begin with one thought, then swerve into your subconscious, writing about something completely different. You’ll be surprised at what’s inside your head.
- Songwriting: Many people think that you have to be able to sing to write song lyrics. Not true! If you have a knack for rapping and poetry or have an ear for melody, give songwriting a try. Who knows? Maybe you can pair up with someone in one of your recovery groups who is a singer or musician.
- Playwriting/screenwriting: Writing for the stage or screen allows you to bring your experiences to life using the power of the English language. If you have a good ear for dialogue or think your journal entries would make for an interesting monologue, give playwriting a try.
DramaIf you’ve been bitten by the acting bug, drama can be a great way to act out your feelings in a comfortable space. Storytelling, including puppetry and monologues, can lead you in all kinds of creative directions. Explore different sides of yourself by participating in improvisational classes that give you a chance to make quick decisions and try out different characters. Acting can help you improve your communication and social skills, develop self-discipline, boost your self-esteem, and gain a positive self-image.
MusicDo you play an instrument? Can you sing? Do you like listening to music? If you said yes to any of these then this may be a splendid creative outlet for you. Even something as simple as making a playlist of your favorite songs on your MP3 player can put you in a positive mindset. Expressing emotions through instruments gives you a way to articulate yourself without the need to give words to your feelings. Singing allows you to express yourself verbally, which works best for those who aren’t fans of writing. Whatever the case, try creating or listening to upbeat music as it will help you to get into positive frame of mind.
DanceDancing is like poetry: it's whatever you think it is. Express yourself through moving around a room and letting your body go. You’ll not only free yourself emotionally, but you’ll also get some exercise as well. Many people picked up a love for choreography while learning and performing dance routines in treatment.
Visual ArtVisual art encompasses many different kinds of media, giving you a wide variety of ways to express yourself. Below are some of the more popular forms:
- Canvas and sketching: Draw what you feel: a self-portrait, a beautiful landscape, or even an abstract piece of art meant to symbolize the state of your innermost soul. Many visual art therapists can help you with different forms such as acrylic paint, watercolors, pastels, charcoal, and pencil sketching.
- Sculpture: Most people typically think of clay when they think of sculpture, but sculpture can also involving using papier-mâché, metal, wood, reclaimed materials, and even kinetic sculptures and mobiles which involve moving parts.
- Digital media: Turn this into a career! Many business need help creating enticing brochures, billboards, and posters created by using computers. If you would rather save this form of art for personal use, you can do fun things like creating your own comic book.
- Photography: Who doesn’t love saving pleasant memories? Taking snapshots with your camera is a great excuse to get in touch with nature while keeping your mind away from negative thoughts. Spend your time trying to get that perfect picture of a butterfly or a raindrop just before it falls off a leaf.
When you begin to create art based on your feelings, you may find that the areas in your life that weighed heavily on you don’t have as much power anymore. You might even discover a new passion to bring with you on the path towards sobriety. Every qualified addiction treatment facility offers creative therapies; it’s just a matter of finding one that meets your specialized needs. Take charge of your mental health today and try a new type of art that just may prevent your next craving from surfacing.