“Art is a wound turned into light,” said the 20th century French painter, Georges Braque. Words that so accurately resonate with our current times, as many people find the light in dark times through all forms of creativity.
That light Braque talked about is something that even doctors are seeing and they are now prescribing the ‘arts’ to aid in treatments for depression and isolation. In Denmark, for example, they are prescribing Kulturvitaminer (culture vitamins) for people suffering from depression to encourage them to take part in cultural activities, which is helping to develop strength of mind and resilience.
Currently trialling in four cities, it involves getting people together in small groups to experience everything from concerts to communal singing to visiting art galleries and museums. The scheme is creating a renewed desire for life in other countries too, such as Sweden, Norway and the UK, where they call it ‘art on prescription’.
Of course, the pandemic has reminded us how good it feels for our well-being when we focus on our creative mind, even if it’s only for a brief time.
Other benefits are;
Managing emotions better
Participating in creative activities reduces anxiety, depression and stress and can also help to process trauma. Painting or drawing for example helps people express trauma or experiences that they are unable to put into words.
Boosting the immune system
Writing or journaling every day can increase your CD4+ lymphocyte count, the key to your immune system. But if you’re not a fan of writing, listening to music can have the same effect too.
It’s a good way to connect with yourself as creativity encourages self-expression, a way to create something from personal feelings and experiences.
Providing a sense of purpose
It allows you to process what is going on around you and discover more about who you are.
Activities such as painting and music have shown to be an effective treatment for patients with dementia, helping people to tap back into their personalities and sharpen their senses.
Creativity can certainly take away the gloom and allow us to see the world in a better light -we just need to allow our mind to take us there!