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The link between creativity, story telling and healing

Creativity, Healing, Journal

As my sufferings mounted I soon realized that there were two ways in which I could respond to my situation — either to react with bitterness or seek to transform the suffering into a creative force. I decided to follow the latter course.

Martin Luther King Jr.

Research shows strong links between creativity and wellbeing in promoting positive mental health.

Over the past decade, health psychologists have cautiously begun looking at how the arts might be used in a variety of ways to heal emotional injuries, increase understanding of oneself and others, develop a capacity for self-reflection, reduce symptoms, and alter behaviours and thinking patterns. Given the ubiquity of creative expression, as well as the relative ease of engagement, the extent to which psychological and physiological effects are sustainably health enhancing is an important area for public health investigation (NCBI, 2010).

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been creative. My earliest memory is making and decorating cards and selling them for $1 (I get the creative side from my father and the business side from mum haha). Another memory was making short films with my friends in primary school or choreographing dance routines to the Spice Girls. And writing has been something I’ve always done since I was as young as 3 years old (even though it wouldn’t make any sense, in my mind I was imagining stories and making them up). I was the kind of kid who would search out the pretty journals and diaries in the book stores.

For some reason, it would be years later until that spark was reignited

We can transform our suffering through art, through music and through motion, through the art of cooking, engineering, photography and science. We can transform through writing and sharing our words, through the creative force of kindness and the great power of loving others.

Lauren Monroe Allen

Over the years I would journal and it wasn’t until, 2013 soon after I got married (I’m now divorced) that I created my first ever blog (which is out there on the interwebs somewhere). At that time I was winding up working as a remedial massage therapist. I’m not sure what attracted me initially to set up the blog. I think maybe I stumbled across a blog that inspired me and got me curious. But there was a strong intuitive voice that was telling me to do this. And looking back, it makes sense. I needed to. I loved the feeling writing gave me. As someone who struggles with speaking and talking, writing allowed me to express myself in a way that set me free, where I felt I could truly be myself and speak my truth.

Yes, it did attract criticism (from a couple of friends who felt strongly to point out my grammar flaws). I like to think I am getting better but the thing is, we all make mistakes but if that is what you’re focusing on, you’ll miss out on the magic that can only expressed from the heart. Good writers are not focused on spelling and perfection (that’s what editors are for, lol). Although I don’t have an editor, I try to just let the writing flow. That’s how I found my own style. So if you are worried, you didn’t get a communications degree, please don’t let that stop you!

The power of storytelling for the individual and the world at large goes back to the beginning of time and transcends many boundaries. In addition to sharing stories as a way to connect with others, doing so can facilitate the healing process for ourselves and those we’re sharing our stories with

Diana Raab PhD

The process of writing allows you to process things and see situations from different perspectives.

And from that point on, I was sharing my life online. It gave me a release. I’m a little more mindful now of what I want to share like my personal relationships and it is always with the intention of sharing lessons or insights that would inspire or encourage others who may be feelings stuck. In 2014, after completing a life coaching course, I started to help others set up their blogs and soon got into virtual assistance and eventually copywriting and other digital marketing work. You can still see the testimonials I got, on the Write To Heal Facebook page (formerly known as The Untamed Life). I loved the creativity this provided and I thrived in that environment. I loved being creative. I still do.

Blogging and writing allowed me to connect with other like-minded people and form relationships that led to other opportunities too. There are definately personal and professional benefits to being creative.

While storytelling is ancient and innate, narrative therapy is relatively recent. Taking charge of your story, or rewriting its central themes, can help you tap into unexpressed parts of yourself, discover untapped strengths and new strength within yourself and start to believe in your talents. By bringing awareness to the stories you tell yourself, or those you have heard others tell about you, you can change your thoughts, your story and your potential. (Kelly Surtees, Psychology Today).

https://www.instagram.com/p/CDJBqiPBjvR/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link
Tess Philip

Tess Philip

Tess founded Well Creative Minds to merge her passions for creativity, wellbeing and mental health and share real stories of courage and hope. She is a mental health support worker, psychology student and writer.

7 Comments

  1. Anitha

    That was beautiful. Art is truly healing. Self expression through art works like therapy.

    Reply
    • Tess Philip

      Thank you Anitha, it sure is like therapy 🙂

      Reply
    • Tess Philip

      Thank you so much for your comment Anitha,

      Reply
  2. Carletta Shannon

    I love this post, it really resonates with me. Writing has been a form of healing for me throughout my life and I love looking back at earlier writing which demonstrates how much I have transformed.

    Reply
    • Tess Philip

      Thank you Carletta. It really is a healer and so interesting to look back on previous writing too, thanks for your comment.

      Reply

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