Mindful Arts Therapy
Build Confidence and Heal After Divorce with Mindful Arts Therapy
Divorce is never easy, and we all have different ways of dealing with it. Some people become angry, frustrated and depressed, while others feel a great sense of relief. Regardless of your own personal initial thoughts, there will come a time when you may find your confidence is lacking. This is a normal response to the trauma divorce can bring.
There are many ways to build confidence and restore yourself back to the person you were before the divorce. In this article, mindful arts therapist Susan Day is going to give you some tips to empower you on your healing journey.
There is no doubt, divorce can be traumatic and can have a long-lasting detriment to your mental health and overall well-being. Processing your experiences is difficult and you may find your emotions wavering from good to bad on a daily basis.
However, there are things you can do right now to ensure you remain strong for yourself and your family, especially your children who are suffering too.
Mindfulness is like meditation on the go. You can learn to be present and calm no matter where you are or what you are doing. If you are required to visit lawyer’s offices or even court, learning the skills of mindfulness will provide you with a solid foundation.
Mindfulness reduces stress and anxiety and will help you let go of the stresses your body is carrying. It will help you become more focused and calmer in every aspect of your life.
Being mindful takes time and practice. You can start now. Simply become aware of your breathing. Is it long and slow or rapid and shallow? Take a long deep breath, hold for the count of four (if you can), then slowly release. If you can’t hold it in, don’t worry, this will come with time.
Repeat this three times and think about your body. What are your hands, arms and legs doing? Do you feel any tension? Simply let go of this tension and tell your body to relax. If you practice doing this at different moments of the day, you’ll find that it will become second nature. All you have to do is think about being calmer and your mind will start the process.
Arts Therapy Reduces Stress
You don’t have to be an artist to get the best out of arts therapy. All you need is something to draw with and something to draw on. A pen and the back of an envelop is a great place to start. If you find you are on the phone or you are having to listen to something that is upsetting, slowly draw circles or figure 8s on their sides.
This might sound weird, but the process of creating circular, smooth patterns reduce negative energy and helps your brain become calm. Don’t worry if you don’t have a pen and paper. You can draw these shapes with your finger on a desk, for example, and it will have the same effect. And don’t forget to slow your breathing and fill your lungs with oxygen.
Useful Arts Therapy Tips:
1 Paint to Music
Put on your favorite playlist and paint whatever you like. Grant yourself the freedom to create and release your stresses. You don’t have to paint a masterpiece; it could just be a lot of swirls and shapes. As you are working, think about the great values you have now and how they have made you such a good person. Focus on these as you paint and listen to music.
2 Draw Your Future Self
Projecting yourself out of your current, stressful environment and into the future is a great way to see clearly what is happening right now. You will not always be in this situation; things will get better. Draw yourself in the future, happy and confident. Surround yourself with things and people you love and use as many colours as possible.
3 Confidence Stone
Find a pebble or stone that speaks to you. Find one that is nice to hold and fits into your pocket. Now, sit with the stone and tell yourself how confident, strong and purposeful you are. You might say, “I am strong and resilient. I can overcome these present challenges and be happy, confident and purposeful. I have integrity and I add value to the world.”
4 Collage Your Successes
Get some old magazines and create a collage of all the things you have achieved in your life. You may be a great gardener or have a nice home. You may be a wonderful cook or really good at your job. Perhaps you are the best friend, mom, dad, aunt or uncle there is. Divorce can mean losing material objects and this is never easy. However, it was you that created or bought them, and it is you who will recover and produce the same, if not better, life surrounded by the things you love.
5 Journal Your Confidence
If you are worried about your future, this is a good time to reflect on your successes in your past. If you don’t already have a journal, start one today. Writing in a journal is a great way to relieve stress and clear the mind. Start by writing down the first thing that comes into your mind and go from there.
Remember, with all arts therapy activities don’t judge or be critical of what you have done. Art therapy is not about the end result. You are not required to produce an amazing piece of art. Instead, the value of art therapy lies in the doing – the process of creation and your emotional development.
When using arts therapy to improve your situation, the effects might not be immediately apparent. However, with time you will find your self-awareness improve, your anxiety decrease, your communication skills improve and your confidence increase. It just takes time.