Medication Is Not the Only Way
While medication has often been a solution for resolving mental illness, it is not the only solution. In fact, for those who have milder forms of depression or anxiety, or for those who do not respond to anti-depressants or anti-anxiety meds, there are many options.
Exercise and a healthy diet can contribute to positive mental health. Examining one’s environment for light levels, noise factors and overall ambiance is also one way to address anxiety and depression. Perhaps one of the best non-medicinal forms of managing mental disorders is expressing oneself creatively. It has been known to make people feel better and to raise self-esteem.
Five Ways to Creatively Cope
There are countless ways to express oneself. A recent article in Psychology Today discusses studies that show positive outcomes when music therapy is added to treatment for mental illness. The studies show reduced heart rate, blood pressure and cortisol levels for individuals playing or listening to music.
Psychologists also suggest writing as a form of dispelling depression and anxiety, especially through journaling. Clarity comes from writing down one’s thoughts and ideas. When a disturbing event occurs that might trigger depression or anxiety, writing about it can take away its power and put the writer in charge. Creative writing is also a form of therapy for mental illness. Poetry and short stories, for instance, can put an individual in a different frame of mind, making it possible to detach from the obsessive thinking associated with mental illness.
Still another way to detach, relax and cope is through crafting. Scrapbooking, quilting, sewing, doll-making, and collage are all forms of crafting that can be therapeutic. By gathering the materials, developing a vision for the final product and then creating it, an individual is engaged in an activity that can have a therapeutic result.
More non-traditional ways of using creativity to address anxiety and depression might be kite-making or bonsai tree design. Using creativity to come up with a list creative ways of coping could be a therapeutic exercise in itself.