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How does art help in self-expression?

Updated: Dec 5, 2021

We are all aware of our physical selves - our bodies and we are also aware of our mental states - our ideas, feelings, and sensations, but determining the relationship between these has proven difficult.

In this blog, we will understand how to establish a connection between the physical and mental state using self-expression.

The term ‘dualism’ refers to the distinction between different types of substances. A substance dualist believes that there are two types of things. There are physical and non-physical objects in the world. Assume you're compiling a list of everything that exists in the universe. You have a clipboard and a piece of paper separated into two columns in your hands. The first column is labeled ‘physical,’ and the second column is labeled ‘non-physical.’ If you're a substance dualist, you believe that some things belong in Column One (such as your body, Neptune) and others in Column Two (for example, God, souls, and minds).

In real terms, there is dualism to almost every concept just like two sides of a coin. If there is sadness, then on the other side of the spectrum there will be happiness. The same applies to our mind and body as well. There needs to be utmost congruency and stability between these two factors to provide the best results. Every moment of our life is associated with our mind and body connection, starting from the development in the womb until passing.

Wouldn’t it be bizarre to ask someone to concentrate on a difficult mathematical question after a traumatic injury? Making such a request would be weird for a couple of reasons. One is that there has to be perfect congruency in the state of both mind and body. In this case, with physical trauma, the mind filters many unwanted thoughts unconsciously. This creates room for incongruence. Often, the current emotional and physical problems also prevent individuals from being able to express their feelings verbally. Hence here comes art therapy, like a superhero with its cape on.

Self-expression through artistic media acts like a bridge between what feels like the inexpressible emotion, to acting in sync with your verbal expression. Not everyone is confident, comfortable, and satisfied with verbal communication therefore, Art therapists often tend to ask open-ended questions to help the individual, process and reflect while creating an image. Further, this facilitates in making the connections between the individual’s inner and outside world, something which is a boon for congruency. From, Carl Rogers to many other eminent humanistic psychologists, all speak about this term - Congruency. It is not something out of this world but something that everyone should be aware of. From, Carl Rogers to many other eminent humanistic psychologists, all speak about this term - Congruency. It is not something out of this world but something that everyone should be aware of.

Everywhere you look you can see examples of self-expression. This may sound like an exaggeration, but it’s not, people around you are expressing themselves every day in many ways, all you need to do is look for it. As with most skills, the best way to improve your self-expression skills is to practice them! Self-expression skills include - but are not limited to - the following:

  • Speaking

  • Writing

  • Body language

  • Artistic endeavors (creating music, dancing, etc...)

Aside from trying some of the suggestions and techniques listed above, you may want to try some exercises and activities designed to enhance your self-expressiveness. We at Happy Hikkups have felt the need to come up with these therapies from the ground level and therefore we bring you voice-guided art therapy sessions which are used to provide the expression of thoughts and emotions that were long subdued. It creates a positive pathway for you to release these energies. To successfully channelize these energies, one needs to be honest with themselves and the process of art therapy.

Are you ready to join us yet?

You may also be interested in reading about Art Therapy for Mental Health

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