Mental Health

How to create less stress

Whether it’s painting, drawing, sculpting, cooking, knitting, sewing, writing, singing, playing music, dancing, the arts play a big role in our overall mental and physical health as well as our communities.

Creativity can be seen by some, perhaps in past decades, as frivolous. But there’s evidence to show that creativity helps our mental health and our stress management.

For me, I realised in my ongoing journey of mental health recovery, that the days I didn’t create were the days I felt disconnected and more likely to experience intrusive thoughts or unhealthy coping strategies. Moreover, writing or drawing helps me see something new about my own thought process or feelings, it helps unblock something I’m struggling to communicate to myself let alone to others. Creating doesn’t need to be for the sake of showing it to others. Creating is a way of showing ourselves to ourselves. Expressing ourselves and exploring what it means to be human.

As a person who has lived with mental illness most of my life, I’ve encountered many types of therapies. Many people are aware of common therapies used to treat mental health conditions like Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, psychotherapy and group therapy. Alongside these, particularly in inpatient care, can comfortably sit more creative pursuits as therapy.

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