benefits of art therapy

Art has the ability to inspire people and make them see things from a different point of view. Art may involve painting a portrait, writing a story or playing a piece of music. In all its forms art stimulates the brain. Art also has the power to inspire positive actions in people’s lives.

For those recovering from substance abuse, art can be an important piece of the healing process. Through the use of art, people are able to express thoughts, ideas, or fears in unique ways. They could even discover something about themselves they didn’t know before.

Here are nine ways art can help on the path to sobriety:

  1. Improve Self-Management.

Loss of control is a common side effect of addiction. People may place getting high over personal and career obligations. This causes them to struggle to balance their substance use problem with normal life activities. Art therapy helps the person learn how to focus, build discipline, and live a healthy life.

  1. Alleviate Symptoms of Depression.

Research has shown a link between substance abuse and depression. Art therapy can help foster positivity in people’s lives. Being engaged in art offers something to look forward to every day. Art is proven to help combat the chemical imbalances in the brain that may lead to depression.

  1. Improve Communication Skills.

Those who struggle with sharing their thoughts and feelings may turn to drugs or alcohol as a way to escape. Art therapy can help foster self-expression. It can also help develop skills to reach out and connect to others.

  1. Address Past Traumas.

Many people who suffer from addiction are using a substance to block out painful thoughts, such as a past trauma. Through art, the person can slowly begin to express their feelings about the event and take steps to move forward.

  1. Reduce Stress.

One of the top reasons people abuse drugs or alcohol is to reduce stress. Heavy daily demands can take a toll on mind and body. Art therapy helps to convert negative energy into positive habits. These new lifestyle habits promote lasting health—free of harmful substances.

  1. Improve Problem-Solving Skills.

Art therapy opens the mind and helps people to seek other ways to solve problems rather than drugs or alcohol. This can be very helpful for young adults. Young people may struggle with fitting in or with keeping up with the rapid changes in their lives.

  1. Build Self-Esteem.

Studies show that people with healthy self-esteem and social skills are more likely to develop healthy habits. Art therapy helps build the confidence needed to tackle sticky social situations and life events.

  1. Reduce Symptoms.

Art therapy can help improve symptoms caused by mental health issues. Among other things, art can help reduce pain, stress and irritability levels during recovery.

  1. Provide a Positive Distraction.

Distractions from a substance issue are very welcome. Art therapy can help people to focus on the positive while keeping their minds off of cravings and negative thoughts.

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