Tuesday, August 24, 2010
The Importance of Art to Our Mental Health
These are all very mindful acts. And mindfulness is essential to creating. We have to pay attention to what we are doing. We have to be in the moment of the creation. We can ponder while we work which serves to feed our creativity. It also provides an opportunity to process. We might only be processing our day or we might be processing our lifetime. Regardless the one thing that we don't do enough is process. We continue to take in new information in the information age without editing much of what comes at us. So processing is more important then ever these days. Processing simply means that we have some reflective time. We reflect on what is important to know or remember or attend to and what is junk that needs to be filtered out. We need to do this in order to maintain our mental health.
The most essential thing for good mental health is to get to know ourselves. We can do this through art. When we take the time to create we get to hear our inner chatter. This chatter can tell us a lot about ourselves. Normally our lives are so noisy that we don't hear this chatter but it is always there. So being mindful, processing and reflecting while we are creating are ways to keep us in touch with this inner monologue. Knowing what we say to ourselves on a daily basis is important to being able to add or delete what we want. Like in our art project we might want to add a bit more of this or get rid of that, in order to create the art we want. We can do the same with our inner voice. We can learn to add praise and stop negative self talk if we provide ourselves with the opportunity to hear it.