We all have our own, personal ways of dealing with stressful situations that life may throw at us. Some can be dangerous and self-destructive, whereas others can bring a sense of peace and balance. Ever since early childhood, I have had a penchant for expressing my feelings through artwork. My parents’ apartment is still covered with all of the mixed-media projects I have done. Back then it was the main way I could channel my introversion into something productive and beautiful. Of course, back then I didn’t even know that the term “introvert” existed.
In the recent years, I have looked further into the concept of introversion reading wonderful books on the topic, such as Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain and The Creating Brain: The Neuroscience of Genius by Nancy B. Andreasen M.D. Ph.D. These books reveal a marvelous of world of ideas that can unravel if you let you mind wander. In the hustle a bustle of our busy lives, we often forget to stop, take a deep breath and (at least temporarily) turn off the never ending ticking of our minds. I am very guilty of this myself. This is where artwork comes into play.
As I found out in the last couple of weeks, there is a whole field of psychology focused on the concept of art therapy. For example, the American Art Therapy Association defines it as “…an integrative mental health and human services profession that enriches the lives of individuals, families, and communities through active art-making, creative process, applied psychological theory, and human experience within a psycho-therapeutic relationship”. In this case, the term applies to the professionals who work with patients through the art medium. But many people have taken the matter into their own hands. Here is an Art Therapy group I came across on Facebook. There is a large community focused on expressing their feelings through art and thereby finding emotional balance.
Case in point, last week my family and I were returning from our summer vacation. The kids were consistently misbehaving, and at some point my brain just shut off. While waiting for our flight at the gate, I took out a piece of paper and started doodling on it – zentangle style. The soothing activity allowed my mind to turn off and my emotions to calm down. Here is what came out in case you are wondering.
Do you ever use art as a means to quiet the mind and live in the moment? I would love to hear about it in the comments.
Here is my most recent creation:
Daily Prompt: Penchant