Throughout history creative pursuits have been linked with healing - in Ancient Egypt royal doctors would prescribe a walk around the gardens to cure Kings and Queens of their ailments. Nowadays, it would seem strange if your doctor just told you to go for a walk! But in recent times many scientific and medical studies have shown that creative pursuits like art, gardening or making music can have all kinds of therapeutic benefits.
These benefits of creative pursuits can be experienced by anyone. But research has shown that they are particularly helpful in aiding those on the journey to recovery from substance addiction. That’s why, in combination with our other programs, Mariners Inn encourages our residents to get involved gardening, making music and creating art.
Here are 4 of the sometimes surprising ways that creative pursuits can help on the road to recovery from addiction:
1) Helps expression and self-understanding
Art is traditionally associated with self-exploration, and through our art therapy program our residents can gain a sense of self-understanding and control over difficult emotions that they may otherwise find difficult to express.
2) Helps to reduce stress levels
Have you ever been so absorbed in what you’re doing that you lose all track of time? Then you’ve experienced what scientists call ‘flow’. ‘Flow’ is the state of intense concentration and focus on what you’re doing that usually ends with you looking at your watch and wondering where the time has gone. And this sense of getting absorbed in what you’re doing is particularly associated with making art.
As you might expect, studies have shown that the state of flow can be very helpful for reducing stress and negative emotions. Focusing and getting absorbed in an activity helps create a more peaceful state of mind.
3) Helps to create a supportive environment
Our music program has been running for around 20 years, and involves a weekly music class as well as giving the men the opportunity to sing in a choir.
Making music together is a great way to connect with other people, and studies show that making music can help build trust and cooperation among members of a group. Our music-making at Mariners Inn adds to our cooperative and supportive environment, and helps build an atmosphere where residents help and support each other during their journeys.
4) Helps residents take part in the local community
Our programs provide many opportunities for our residents to take part in community activities. As part of our art therapy program, Mariners Inn puts on art exhibitions to introduce the men’s work to the community. Our choir has performed a number of concerts at place like the Grosse Pointe Rotary Club and the St. John Open Arms Program’s yearly grief memorial. And the men working on our urban garden have sold produce they grow at Eastern Market.