Artistic Expression

 

Young girl coloring“Isn’t this relaxing?”

 

I had to laugh at my daughter’s question as we sat coloring. The humor for me was that I had asked my mother the same question in a similar situation many years before. It is incredible how we naturally recognize in our youth the activities that can relax and refresh us.

 

Research has confirmed that coloring, drawing, and other forms of artistic expression like singing and dancing can lower an individual’s blood pressure and stress levels.

 

At Boys and Girls Homes, the therapeutic benefits of artistic expression have long been used through our recreational therapy program. Our children are encouraged to explore different outlets to “improve and maintain physical, mental and emotional wellbeing while reducing depression, stress and anxiety.”

 

I have seen the benefits artistic expression has on the children first hand. One of our youth has found a gift for writing, boosting his confidence in social interactions to the point that he has shared his works during civic club events. The drawings and paintings created by one of our girls have brought her to a level of confidence that has her smiling and talking at events instead of hiding out in a corner. Another child has used music as his artistic expression, providing him with an outlet that has helped him focus better across the board. I had the privilege of watching him receive a top award at the Thomas Academy Awards Banquet.

 

I am so grateful for all of the opportunities for our youth to explore creative outlets as part of their everyday experience at Boys and Girls Homes. Getting to see the impact reminds me that we can all benefit from creative expression.

 

How will you use artistic expression today?

 

Melissa Hopkins is the Director of Public Relations and Marketing at Boys and Girls Homes of North Carolina.

Learn more about the therapeutic services offered to youth at B&GH.

 

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