It doesn’t take a studio full of “real” art supplies to reap the well-being rewards of creativity.  That’s because the brain-boosting benefits of creativity come from the creative process itself – not from what you use, and not from the final work of art. Creative practices stimulate the release of dopamine, a brain chemical that makes us feel happier. When you add intention into the mix, meaning you make up your mind to “release” or express something specific as you create, the benefits can be exponential.

Here’s my favorite part: when it comes to creativity, there is never any right or wrong, only the joy of the present moment. Enjoy this five-minute practice and remember:  Creative time is your time:  it’s a gift that you deserve!

Toss away your troublesYou will need: a garbage bag, lunch bag or other paper, pen, pencil, crayon, marker (or a mix of them all) and a few minutes of private time.

  1. Place the garbage bag and writing supplies in front of you.
  2. Take a few deep breaths and quiet your mind. If thoughts come flooding in, that’s fine; simply keep coming back to your breath.
  3. Think of any challenge or annoyance: spend a few minutes with it, noticing how it “feels” in your body – is there tension in any particular area? Has your breathing changed? Stay with these physical sensations for just a few minutes.
  4. Open your eyes, get in touch with your inner child, and SCRIBBLE in a free, spontaneous way: scribbling is known in art therapy for its calming effects, so go for it! Visualize your emotions going right out through your arms and hands, onto the garbage bag. Scribble big, small, legible or non-legible, pressing hard or barely touching, with zero idea of what you are scribbling.Remember, it’s not about what’s on the paper, it’s all about putting it there. If any words come to mind, scrawl those down on your garbage bag as well.
  5. Contemplate your scribbles: take a minute or two to engage with your scribbles. They represent your inner feelings, and may offer some personal insights. If anything comes up, write it down on the front or back of the garbage bag, on another piece of paper or even in a journal.
  6. Toss your troubles and scribbles or keep them as a reminder that you’ve let go of something you didn’t need. Say goodbye to the challenge, and a big thank you to you for the gift of this time.

Give yourself permission to express your feelings today: find the nearest garbage or paper or even junk mail and get scribbling! By indulging your inner creative genius, your outer world will transform.

Creatively yours,

Elizabeth Bryan-Jacobs

Elizabeth
www.creativeawakenings.net

To learn more about the joys and benefits of creativity, click here.

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