Perpetual Therapy: Incorporating Art and Music into Your Everyday Life

Worth Living Ambassador Michelle Peterson

Michelle Peterson has been in recovery for several years. She started to help eliminate the stigma placed on those who struggle with addiction. The site emphasizes that the journey to sobriety should not be one of shame but of pride and offers stories, victories, and other information to give hope and help to those in recovery.

Perpetual Therapy: Incorporating Art and Music into Your Everyday Life

There are many ways to treat addiction, but what truly matters is whether an individual recovering from drug or alcohol abuse can sustain the benefits of addiction treatment. Sustainability is what truly matters. Being able to live each day without succumbing to temptation is the measure of the treatment that a recovering addict receives. Meeting with an addiction support group allows you to talk through the challenges that threaten your sobriety. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) helps you alter negative behavioral patterns by modifying dysfunctional thoughts and emotions.

Art and music therapy are proven effective supplemental treatment approaches that draw on creativity and improve self-esteem and confidence, alleviate stress and help recovering addicts avoid relapse behavior.

Music affects every part of your brain, encouraging relaxation, relieving depression, mitigating pain and lowering blood pressure. These are all benefits that can have a powerfully positive impact on people who are trying to remain free of drugs and alcohol. Music therapy is used to treat Alzheimer’s patients, patients suffering from brain injuries, people in chronic pain and many others. Therapy subjects are taught to appreciate, dance to and, in some cases, sing or play music as part of their treatment.

Patients who undergo art therapy create imagery through painting, drawing and sculpting. They are then encouraged to discuss the images that they’ve created with a licensed art therapist. Art therapy helps free you from the constant worry that you’ll give into temptation and fall back into addictive behavior patterns. As such, it helps individuals come to grips with underlying psychological issues that contribute to self-destructive behaviors.

Get a hobby

Taking up art or music as a hobby is an excellent way to incorporate these two effective therapeutic pursuits into your life. It might be something you’ve considered if you played music in the past or did well in art classes when you were in school. Select a part of your house that’s out of the way and offers enough square footage for you to play music or create artwork every day. You’re taking advantage of a creative outlet that can prevent you from dwelling on your struggles with addiction.

Consider converting part of your garage, laundry room or a large walk-in closet into a creative workshop. Acquire an easel, a large drawing table or large work table if you’re into working with clay or some form of sculpting. According to HomeAdvisor, “Everyone deserves to have their own space for their passion project, be it a crafting station or simply a place to journal. Look around your home with a creative eye, and you’ll realize that much of what you need to create your ideal hobby workshop is already nearby and can easily be converted.”
Visit an art museum

If you live in an urban community, you likely have an art museum nearby or perhaps there’s one affiliated with your local university. Become a member and make visiting it on a weekly basis part of your usual routine. Look closely at the paintings and exhibits that impact you the most and let them inspire your creativity. You can also find an exhaustive supply of websites dedicated to great artworks that you can enjoy free of charge.
Dive into reading

Even if you’re not in the habit of reading for pleasure, dive into a great literary work, maybe a book you enjoyed in high school or college, or a book that inspired a movie you love. You might be surprised at how much more you’ll get from reading the book than you do from watching the movie.

Perhaps the most valuable benefit you can derive from a therapeutic activity is that it involves your mind completely. You’re not left with time to dwell on temptation and risk relapsing into addictive behavior. That’s why it’s important to incorporate a pursuit you enjoy into your daily routine.
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