Express Yourself - Granite Wellness Centers

By Sommer Wadman

The motivation to dance comes naturally to human beings, as we are moveable creatures. Tune into an upbeat song on the radio in the presence of a two-year-old, and watch their face light up, hands wave and bodies bounce! This concept applies equally to visual arts.  Give a toddler a crayon and he or she will naturally start to scribble!

As we grow, art-making progresses from a flurry of off-beat wiggles and undefined scribbles, to images, shapes, words and experiences that mold our perception of the world.

In fact, the creative arts, (drawing, painting, sculpture, drama, dance, music, etc…) are not only a great way to create something beautiful, but also a fun and inspiring way to relieve stress and enhance creativity.  Accessing the arts at any age is a simple way to maintain or develop skills relating to problem-solving, teamwork, communication and healthy coping.

Visual and performing arts can lead to positive self-expression, and assist in building confidences.  When art is inspired by persons’ individualized interests, ideas, emotions, needs or preferences, the accomplishments are most rewarding and self-esteem is boosted. Research suggests that when people have opportunities to explore and express who they are, they gain confidence that translates into success, both in adolescence and throughout adulthood.

Paint it, dance it, sing it, BE IT! Here are some of the perks of expressing yourself artistically:

  1. Take it as YOU like it – Who says you’ve got to have bucket loads of artistic talent to do anything arts-related? The simple act of participating in an art project – however simple – can bring lots of enjoyment. You may even uncover hidden talents or rediscover a love or passion from your past.  Don’t be afraid to try new things!!  Consider second chances.
  2. Say what you can’t say – Feeling stressed? Overwhelmed and at a loss for words? Try letting it all out on a piece of paper, playing music or creating a sculpture! Focusing on artistic expression has many benefits: it takes your mind off your negative emotions and in addition, it allows you to express these feelings in a healthy way.
  3. Work it out – Rather than brooding and letting stress, sadness, or anger get the better of you, transform it into something else. Go on, bang some drums, create a collage, paint with abandon, or sing to your heart’s content!

    The act of creating art stimulates brain activity and triggers those creative juices essential to help you think beyond boundaries and gain new perspectives. Performing (physical) arts such as theatre, dance, and music call for stamina, flexibility, and bodily awareness.
  4. Create relationships – One of the most important, and enjoyable aspects of participating in the arts are the social connections you make. Enjoying the process of art-making collaboratively engenders not only friendship but the invaluable experience of supporting each other.
    More than a meeting of like-minds; the act of being involved in a community and culture of art, can expand your horizons and enrich your mind.

Remember, art is a simple way of expressing yourself.  Choose a form of expression that you feel most comfortable with at first.  Give your thoughts and feelings a forum for release. Paint it! Grab some sidewalk chalk and doodle on a warm day. Dance it! Groove your way around your daily chores. Sing it! Grab a hairbrush or broomstick and belt it out. Whatever the form of expression that fits you best… BE IT!



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