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Tuning in to our bodies can help us understand our thoughts better. Inherently, we are born with a sense of movement that helps us channelize our energy into experiences, hold memories, reveal emotions and express ourselves.
The word ‘therapy’ often creates an image of a counsellor sitting on a couch discussing mental health issues with their client. Although the essence of therapy is to help people open up, work through problems and develop healthy coping strategies. Some people may have a difficult time expressing themselves verbally and this is where expressive arts steps in.
How Expressive Arts Is Used To Facilitate Well-Being
Well-being is vital to our health and effectiveness, at work and in society. When stress at work goes unaddressed, it affects performance, relationships with co-workers, quality of work, and the motivation to succeed.
Expressive arts can be defined in many ways, but the simplest way to understand it is an application of the visual arts, musical participation and movement, to facilitate growth, manage stress and decrease muscular tension.
There are three kinds of expressive arts methods that not only promote creativity but also help build stronger connections at work: Art therapy, music therapy, dance and movement therapy (DMT)
Creating Art That Heals
Art therapy is a form of expression in which participants are taught to use the creative process of making art to explore their thoughts and feelings. Engaging in art therapy is as simple as taking time to doodle, paint or draw under the guidance of a mental health professional. For employees, it acts as a medium to get to know their co-workers better, identify strengths and enhance cohesion within the workplace.
Tuning Into The Beats
Music has an innate capacity to help people express how they feel when words just won’t do. Music therapists use musical activities such as playing instruments, listening to songs and drumming, to address the physical, emotional and cognitive needs of people. It positively impacts mood, reduces feelings of mental exhaustion at work and helps employees feel truly connected to their company’s goals and values.
Moving Towards Positive Mental Health
Creative expressions such as dance and movement connect us to what it means to be human and actually makes us better individuals. Dance and movement therapy (DMT), is an expressive arts method that coordinates motion with the beats to reduce feelings of isolation, enhance corporate team building and boost work performance. DMT could include a range of activities, from stretching to unstructured dancing. It encourages people to express their thoughts and ideas through physical body movements.
Expressive Arts can enhance the mental well-being of corporate employees and help leaders build happier teams.
Letting Expressive Arts Do The Work: Why Your Organization Needs It
Suppressed emotions can lead to emotional outbursts with anger issues and are also risk factors for mental health concerns such as anxiety and depression. Introducing expressive arts at work by providing opportunities for employees to get involved with art, music, dance and movement can provide huge benefits to your entire team as well as organization, as a whole.
Expressive arts truly is for everyone. Employees do not need to know how to draw or paint or have any musical talent to participate in an expressive arts session. Thus, being purposefully creative and letting your inner child freely express emotions non-verbally will help people focus better and increase a sense of overall well-being at work.
Talk to us today to learn more about incorporating expressive arts into your workplace!