When we process emotion through creativity, we bypass left-brain thinking that can often inhibit our ability to reach into our pain and fully process it.
Using art as a vehicle for personal and spiritual transformation can be a profound and cathartic experience. There are many ways to engage with visual art. For instance, mindful doodling can be used as a meditative process. The present awareness of repetitive pattern-making lines on paper can help us to ground and center. Another way to engage with artmaking is by drawing images that depict our emotions. There is something powerful about expressing our joy, sadness, anger, and anxiety through color and lines, and there is no right or wrong way of conveying emotion with crayons, pastels, watercolors, and pencils. The only prerequisite is an open heart and a willingness to try the process.
Healing with Our Right Brain
Art can support our healing during difficult experiences, especially when used in tandem with goal-setting for personal transformation and energy healing modalities. Studies have shown a strong correlation between art and healing. This is because creativity is a right-brain function, the hemisphere that is also responsible for imagination, emotion, and intuition. Verbal communication, on the other hand, is a left-brains function –the half that is is ruled by logic, sequencing, and linear thinking. When we process emotion through creativity, we bypass left-brain thinking that can often inhibit our ability to reach into our pain and fully process it.
Processing the Artwork
But language has an important role in healing as well. Once the art is created, talking about the artwork is also important because only the artist can make sense of the imagistic symbols and metaphors in the artwork. In other words, there is no right or wrong way to interpret feelings because we are each unique in how we experience emotion.