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The Healing Power of Art: Traditional Arts and Mental Well-Being

Healing power of art

In the chaos of our modern lives, where stress seems to be an inevitable companion, finding solace and healing becomes imperative. Fortunately, art offers a refuge and a sanctuary where troubled minds find peace and rejuvenation. Amidst the endless forms of artistic expression, traditional arts stand out not only for their cultural significance but also for their direct impact on somebody’s mental well-being. In this blog, we shall explore the healing power of art and how its presence affects the human mind. 

Traditional arts encompass a wide array of practices that are deeply rooted in the history and heritage of diverse cultures around the world. From painting and sculpture to music and dance, these art forms have transcended time and geographical boundaries. The healing power of art is often understated and underestimated. It helps not only in serving as creative outlets but also as therapeutic activities for emotional healing and psychological restoration. 

Healing power of art: Connection to oneself

Image source: Artful Parent  

One of the most compelling aspects of traditional arts is their ability to forge a sense of connection, whether it be to yourself, to others or to the world at large. Take, for instance, the Japanese art of origami. Folding paper into intricate shapes requires focus and patience, drawing the person involved into a state of mindfulness where worries and anxieties fade into the background. Similarly, the rhythmic movements of traditional dance forms like ballet or Bharatanatyam are a form of moving meditation. 

Additionally, Mandala is popularly used in art therapy to aid in the exploration of one’s innermost thoughts and feelings. It is an artistic projection of the earthly cosmos and heavenly worlds. According to the philosophies taught in Eastern civilization, mandalas are known to represent divine balance and stability in life. It is imperative to speak of art forms such as this one while addressing the healing power of art. 

Image source: The Borgen Project 

Healing power of art: Warehouse of culture

Moreover, traditional arts often serve as a reservoir of cultural wisdom and memory. It gives a sense of continuity and belonging to those who engage with them. Whether through storytelling, textile weaving or pottery making, these artistic traditions transmit values and narratives from one generation to the next. In a rapidly changing world, where the pace of life can feel overwhelming, connecting with these timeless traditions provides a source of stability and grounding for individuals seeking refuge from modernity. Engaging in a traditional Indian art form makes one feel safe and secure, away from the homogenisation of cultures and traditions in this modern world. 

Healing power of art: Mental state of mind 

Image source: Rock Paper Team 

Beyond their cultural significance, traditional arts have been increasingly recognized for their therapeutic benefits in promoting mental well-being. Numerous studies have documented the healing power of art as well as the positive effects of artistic engagement on psychological health. These range from reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression to enhancing overall resilience and self-esteem. For example, participating in group art or music activities can alleviate symptoms of depression and improve social connectedness, creating a sense of community among people. 

Similarly, engaging in visual arts such as painting or sculpting has been linked to decreased stress levels and enhanced emotional expression. The act of creating art provides a non-verbal means of communication, allowing individuals to express feelings that may be difficult to articulate verbally. This form of self-expression can be particularly empowering for those struggling with mental health challenges. It provides them with a sort of agency and control over their own life and story.

Finally, traditional Indian art often incorporates elements of ritual and ceremony. Whether it’s creating lines and dots in Gond and Bhil art, or drawing endless geometric shapes in the case of Warli, one feels a certain healing power of art in perfecting what one is familiar with. In essence, Indian art provides a framework for meaning. It is a way to navigate the complexities of life and find coherence amidst chaos. 

Image source: coursehouse

In conclusion…

In a world where technology is supreme and instant gratification is the norm, one can counterbalance these factors with the healing power of art. It’s a reminder to yourself to slow down, savor the present moment and to reconnect with what truly matters.

The healing power of art lies not only in their aesthetic beauty or cultural significance but also in their ability to nourish the soul and the spirit. In an age when mental health issues are on the rise and societal pressures are ever-present, art offers resilience, restoration and renewal. By embracing these timeless traditions and incorporating them into our lives, we can tap into our healing energy, which will bring us comfort! 

To learn more about art forms and their benefits on our physical and mental health, download the Rooftop app from Google Play or App Store to stay updated on our upcoming art events and workshops. Stay tuned to rooftop blogs and follow us on @rooftop_app

By Freya Bulsara

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