As human beings, we are all inherently broken in some way, be it physically, mentally, or emotionally. In today’s world we are constantly bombarded with negative stimulation. Every time my phone buzzes I half expect it to be a CNN alert delivering some form of bad news, and unfortunately in recent days that has generally been the case. How can we as compassionate humans live in the now, focus on the good, release some of the angst of living in a world that seems to be crumbling around us?
Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis, once suggested that the best way to deal with mental pain and anguish is through what he referred to as “sublimation.” In one way, sublimation is the process of taking this pain and transforming it via the creative process into art.
Art gives us all the possibility of healing these wounds. Whether through music, dance, painting, design, photography or another form of creativity, putting our heart and soul into creating something beautiful allows us to heal. Art can be a way to escape our problems as well as a coping mechanism. It allows us to face painful past experiences, bring them to light, and overcome them.
I’m sure there will be someone reading this who thinks, “oh, but I’m not an artist, I’m in banking” or “I’m not good at art. I took it in high school and hated it.” What I say to you is TRY it. For the sake of this article, I did a quick Google search for “art therapy” which yielded 23 MILLION results. 23 MILLION. I also found that should you wish, you could get a Master of Arts from NYU in Art Therapy – who knew? I digress, but the point being that there is massive amounts of information out there about this topic, why it’s important, and how to execute.
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