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  • Paula Thompson
    Paula Thompson

    The Cathartic Effects of Creative Expression

    Your brain is an organ unlike any other. It's capable of storing vast amounts of information, processing complex calculations and enabling humans to experience a wide range of emotions and interpret multiple layers of meaning in art. So it makes sense that artistic endeavors can have a positive effect on the mind. This includes forms of creative expression across many mediums such as music, dance, poetry and visual art.

    When we engage with artistic works, it not only gives us access to realms of understanding that are hard to capture using words, but it allows us to negotiate the messy contradictions that characterize human experience. For instance, music, an art form that forges connections between disparate sounds and feelings, plays a special role in granting us access to our subconscious. A single song can leave us filled with hope and optimism one moment, yet completely overwhelmed and disheartened by sadness just moments later. In this way, music taps into the fractured messiness of the heart, unlocking dreams that we did not know were possible.

    Often when we look at art it's our experiences, memories and hopes that are reflected back to us, a reminder that our storied lives are inextricably tied to humanity and its unending pursuit of wonder and love. Visual art in particular speaks far louder than words ever could; it succinctly encapsulates various facets of existence in a way that verbal communication cannot, providing solace during times of pain and inspiration throughout our journey.

    Dance is perhaps one of the oldest and most powerful ways to express ourselves through physicality. It offers us permission to release whatever emotions are roiling within us, allowing us to move freely and without judgement. By engaging with our bodies we come to peace with our insecurities, freeing ourselves from mental cages of fear and anxiety.

    And finally there is poetry, an art form bound together by the power of words. Poetry allows us to explain and explore the intricacies of our thoughts and feelings in surprisingly few words, expressing what we feel and what our imagined worlds consist of. Its language is evocative; taking a certain emotional landscape and laying out for you to explore and process without fear of repercussions or being judged by others. As Charles Baudelaire once said; "poetry is exquisite Rebellion against Fate" – expressions that pour from us as we fight against the limits placed upon us by life.

    Engaging with creative expression can provide us with solace and comfort when times are trying. Each art form has the power to take us to places within ourselves that words cannot reach, unlocking the secrets buried within our innermost selves. Engaging in creative forms of expression can allow us to further understand who we are; both the beautiful and bright side, but also the dark and difficult parts which most prefer to ignore. So don't be afraid to explore the realms unexplored within your brain; it is within these depths that true liberation lies.

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