Restorations Therapy Blog

The Relationship Between Creativity and Mindfulness

by on Tuesday, October 26th, 2021

The practice of reaching mindfulness has an extensive history, reaching as far back as Buddhist monks’ desire was to use it to attain awakening. In recent studies, mindfulness has proved beneficial to mental health by relieving stress and improving cognitive, emotional, and interpersonal functions in the brain.

Sometimes looking out for yourself in recovery can be difficult because you’re not sure exactly what your body needs. However, practicing mindfulness can help you become more in tune with your body. 

What Is Mindfulness? 

Mindfulness is the practice of becoming more self-aware and conscious of the present moment. 

When practicing mindfulness, an individual focuses on sensations and tension in their body, bringing them to a fuller understanding of their needs. Deep breathing exercises and noting are two of the most common practices used to reach mindfulness. 

Mindfulness can be helpful when sorting through complicated or emotional situations in your life. The practice itself does not deal with these problems head-on. Instead, it will lead you to a better understanding of yourself and make the solutions clearer when you revisit the challenge you face.

What Is Creativity?

Creativity allows us to problem solve and come up with innovative solutions to problems in our lives. Sometimes, these solutions may be literal, like an invention. Other times, solutions may be more artistic in nature. 

Creativity can be seen as an expression through painting, fashion, writing, designs, sales, marketing, and almost any instance where an original idea can be formed.

Entering the world after recovery can feel overwhelming. It may cause periods of stress and detachment as you learn where you fit back into society.  Creativity can help you begin making connections in your mind and with the world. 

How Creativity Can Help

Creativity can help you foster a state of mindfulness by: 

#1. Use of the Senses 

Creativity, like mindfulness, also requires awareness of the five senses. Writing a poem, painting a landscape, or composing a song requires you to think about how your subject matter appeals to the senses and the world.

In this process, maybe without even realizing it, you have become in touch with your own sense of smell, touch, sight, sound, and taste. From this, you have begun the first stages of mindfulness. When you feel ready to start mindfulness exercises, you can do so with more ease.

When practicing mindfulness, you bring attention to the sensations in your body to learn what they may be telling you in your current state. For example, when meditating, you may become aware that your shoulders are holding tension. Releasing that tension will bring you to a state of calmness and relaxation.  

#2. A Break From Reality

No matter your creative outlet, creativity focuses your mind on the single task at hand. This allows it to enter the default mode network. When your mind is in this state, you have the opportunity to shift perspective and come up with new ideas. 

It is also a space in your mindset apart from your regular day-to-day thought patterns. It provides a break from judgment for thoughts and feelings to be expressed. 

Jumping headfirst into mindfulness meditations can be difficult because it requires a level of focus that may seem hard to reach. Creativity is an action-based type of meditation, where you focus your body on creating a specific piece instead of remaining immobile. With both mindfulness and creative activities, you allow your mind a break from your normal thought patterns. 

#3. Processing Emotions

The goal of mindfulness is to process your emotions in a healthy manner. Creativity can be a great source of expression that allows you to face your feelings instead of returning to unhealthy coping mechanisms. 

Both positive and negative emotions can be expressed through creativity and art. This allows a safe space for anything you may be struggling with. There are no restrictions to your own creativity, and that can be comforting. 

Both mindfulness and creativity allow for you a space where there is no judgment on your thoughts and feelings, which provides an ideal space for lasting healing work to be done. 

The Benefits of Creativity and Mindfulness

According to a study published in Substance Abuse and Rehabilitation, not only can creativity allow a space in which you can practice mindfulness, but mindfulness can also allow for more creative outlets in your brain. The two fuel each other to allow the better processing of emotions. 

Journaling: The Best of Both Worlds

If you find it challenging to stay focused during meditation and are not drawn to the arts, journaling may be the perfect option for you. Journaling is the act of writing down your experiences and expressing your thoughts surrounding them. It can be a refreshing way to unload complicated feelings and emotions while in recovery.

The process of forming coherent sentences out of your thoughts can help you better understand yourself and reach a state of self-awareness, which is the goal of mindfulness. 

By default, journaling is a creative form of expression. Many different types of journaling may seem more or less appealing to you, depending on your situation.

Mindfulness is crucial in identifying what your body needs to properly heal when in recovery from substance abuse and mental health disorders. Meditation is the most commonly used practice to reach mindfulness because you focus your attention on specific areas of the body during meditation. However, tapping into creativity can be an easily accessible approach to mindfulness if you have trouble staying focused during meditation. Journaling can also be a creative way to reach mindfulness. If you feel you need assistance beginning your path toward a healthier mind and body, call Restorations Therapy today. We work with clients of all ages to restore their lives from substance use and mental health disorders through a variety of holistic therapies and individualized treatment. Call us today to learn more about our individualized programs and take your first step towards healing. Reach out to us at (720) 446-6585. Your recovery starts with Restorations Therapy.

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