Using The Arts To Enhance Your Life

By Yousef AlAjarma, PhD, REAT, Program Director - MA in Counseling Psychology in Expressive Arts Therapy; Core Faculty in the Counseling Psychology Department October 05, 2015

Mental Health Tips from William James College Faculty: Using The Arts To Enhance Your Life, by Yousef AlAjarma, PhD, REAT, Program Director - MA in Counseling Psychology in Expressive Arts Therapy; Core Faculty in the Counseling Psychology Department.

All of us look for ways of staying well in mind and body, and the arts can be a wonderful means of connecting our body with our mind. Art forms such as dance, movement, music, theatre, visual arts, drama, psychodrama, storytelling and poetry can provide us with unique means of expression. The arts allow us to express ourselves in any way that we choose.

Art can be used as a means of self-expression, a form of relaxation, or as a way to learn about ourselves. People of all ages, from young children to the elderly, can participate, and doing so does not require that one be a skilled artist, musician, or dancer. There are many ways to incorporate the arts into your life. 

Tips for Using the Arts to Enhance Your Life

  • Draw or paint your emotions 
  • Keep a journal 
  • Make a scribble drawing 
  • Play with sand or clay 
  • Create a motivational collage 
  • Paint a rock or a stone 
  • Move for 5 minutes 
  • Listen to calming and relaxing music 
  • Design a postcard you’ll never send 
  • Make a clay sculpture 
  • Write a song 
  • Finger paint 
  • Draw a comic strip 
  • Decorate a mask 
  • Paint on your body 
  • Write a letter to your past or future self 
  • Draw or paint to music 
  • Write a poem 
  • Make a puppet 
  • Play a board-game 
  • Scribble 
  • Write a haiku 

"It is art that makes life, makes interest, makes importance, and I know of no substitute whatever for the force and beauty of its process.” —Henry James