“Louise Bourgeois, a French-American artist who died in 2010 at the age of 98 stated “Art is a guarantee to sanity.” She added…”this is the most important thing I have said.” Louise Bourgeois found making art was a way to keep her sane from difficult conditions at home, such as having a dominating father. Art and the creation of it she found as a tool to cope with emotion which was overwhelming her. One example she recalled was making tiny sculptures out of breadcrumbs at the dinner table when she was little. This was instrumental for her sanity and happiness.
If you can’t meditate you can try art
The healing effect of Art therapy has a wide range of benefits and can help with a variety of ailments (depression, trauma, illness etc.) It is beneficial regardless of ethnicity, age or gender. Studies have found it even reduces symptoms often associated with cancer such as fatigue, pain and anxiety.
Art, like meditation, allows the individual to create space between the steering committee of thought, thus allowing the connection with our true selves. Not to say that being caught up in our thoughts and emotions is a bad thing, but it can create a false sense of identity. Therefore, the creation of art is about trying to reach that pinnacle of consciousness or a conscious state that can break free from the constant barrage of mind chatter.
When creating art, the need for verbal communication no longer exists; the making of art creates it’s own language, enabling us to connect with each other and ourselves through the sense that that particular art brings. Hence, in therapy it can be an effective way in the communication of unspeakable things. Creative therapies with children can be so effective and give insights as to what is really going on inside. Art allows true self expression, which explains how moving a work of art can be when looking at it, or listening to certain music. A touching piece of art can stand alone in unadulterated self-expression.
Having a place that is special or your own space can be nurturing, providing consistent connection to our true selves. An article published by the University of Hertfordshire finds a direct correlation between self-acceptance and a happier life. It quotes Dr. Mark Williamson — Director of Action for Happiness — who reminds us how, “our society puts huge pressure on us to be successful and to constantly compare ourselves with others [and how] this causes a great deal of unhappiness and anxiety.” Why not use Art, and art-making, as a way to “spend some quiet time by yourself. Tune in to how you’re feeling inside and try to be at peace with who you are”.
This can be a great daily habit.