Change is not comfortable – it is not meant to be. As humans, we are creatures of habits and familiar surroundings. We find great comfort in routines and environments that provide a sense of stability and calm.
Has growth and self-improvement ever happened from a safe and comfortable place? To realize our greatest potential, we have to step out of our comfort zone, become more resilient and discover what we are truly capable of. It is scary and daunting, but it is completely worth it, if we ever have to make something of ourselves.
As an artist, I have personally experienced how having an art practice or just viewing art can be an incredible tool for resilience. Here are some ways in which art and resilience can come together in a perfect union:
Using personal creativity to release your stress about change
The simple act of creating art or finding an outlet for creative expression can be quick release for stress that might be a result of any upcoming changes in your personal and professional life.
Alright, this might seem too simple to work but all I ask of you is to give it a chance. All you are going to need is a blank piece of paper, a bunch of colour pencils or markers and comfortable place for you to sit down. For the next 30 minutes, keep all your devices locked and try to just focus on the blank paper in front of you. Take a moment or two to sit with your thoughts and emotions and then grab whatever colour you are attracted to and start doodling. These doodles can literally be anything: scribbles, drawings or even words that are popping up in your head.
Keep going at it for as long as you prefer but give yourself at least 15 minutes to draw out whatever is pent up inside you. I promise you that this exercise won’t just be cathartic but will also give you immense clarity on your emotions and thought patterns that might be holding you back.
Art, Community and Change
To help strengthen communities and unite people together for a cause, art has proven to be quite effective over the course of our history. With the power of impactful art, people can be motivated to become change champions and transform the surroundings around them. Community art is an art form that finds its roots in the spirit of collaboration amongst communities to help promote unity and also express concerns or issues affecting the community members through art.
This art practice can often act as a catalyst of change triggering events that can bring change within the national or international community. At its very core, community art is helping people use their creative thinking to express the need for change and navigate the consequences of change with unity.
Art Exposure Therapy for introspection and helping navigate change
Okay, this is not an actual form of therapy but trust me, the psychological benefits are absolutely real and so helpful in coping with change.
Now the beauty of visual arts is that it’s a wide encompassing term for various art forms that you can experience and use as a tool for empowerment. Have you ever watched a film or listened to a song that has brought up certain strong emotions or exposed you to a new way of thinking? If yes, then you just unintentionally got a dose of Art Exposure Therapy. This is what it is, to put it simply: exposing yourself to art (films, songs, performance pieces) that challenge your way of thinking and make you introspect about yourself. For a quick art exposure session, head over to the Gallery section of my website and take your time viewing some of my artworks and letting yourself freely experience whatever is bubbling up. A lot of people have told me that pieces from Psychomachia have really connected with them on an emotional level, so try starting from there.
For an even more immersive experience, go into a gallery or museum and pick a work of art and look at it. Don’t look at the label or caption first, as you want to have a perspective uninfluenced by anything. Observe how the artwork is displayed. Do you feel that the museum or gallery is allowing you to see the work at its best vantage point? Do you feel yourself connecting with that particular piece of art? Is that artwork telling a story that you relate to? Do you even like what is in front of you? Asking questions and understanding of what is happening can give you a greater appreciation for the art and also provide a welcoming distraction from the anxiety of change.
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Check my digital artwork collection here.