Creative expression helps me with negative emotions



I have been tapping more into creative interests lately and have noticed how much happier and more at peace I am, and realized being imaginative helps many people in similar ways!

I visited a friend recently who had a successful catering business in which she created recipes that both looked and tasted different than the norm. She also decorates and remodels her home’s interior quite often in a way that looks like it could be a museum, and has had a book published and is working on other books.

Although I know this friend is dealing with illness in her immediate family, I noticed she almost always has a smile on her face. I asked her with sincere curiosity if she has ever dealt with depression or anxiety. What she told me is she has and most people have. She also told me negative emotions are all between the ears-meaning in our heads-and that there is beauty all around, but it’s up to us if we are going to focus on that beauty or focus on all the bad in the world. I immediately grasped the fact that when we are creating our own beauty, we tend to focus on that beauty rather than things that would have pulled us down.

One of the things I have returned to from my childhood is writing in a journal about my thoughts and feelings about my days. Without trying too hard, I usually recap my days more poetically than how I would normally talk.

Journaling is an ancient tradition dating back to at least 10th century Japan. According to, successful people, such as presidents and other famous figures, have kept journals throughout history. The site also says the benefits of journaling include clarity of thoughts and feeling, knowing yourself better, reducing stress, solving problems more easily and resolving disagreements with others. In addition, it says writing involves both the right and left side of the brain. That I didn’t know!

I also joined a Christian ballet dance ministry. After only a month of rehearsing, I got to perform for an audience at a nearby church around Thanksgiving. says that dancing can help you lose weight, stay flexible, reduce stress, make friends and more. All of those things promote more positive mood.

The leader of the dance ministry, along with the pastor of the church at which we were performing, decided instead of dancing the adults with the ministry would do a drama for Christmas. I was in a fine arts magnet program in middle school for drama and took part in theatre in high school and college. So, again, this allowed me to return to something I did when I was younger.

Finally, I have been completing coloring pages from a devotional and liked it so much I bought an adult coloring book to use over my vacation. All of these things have proven to be good for my emotions in similar ways.

So, why wait to explore creative passions?

Tanya Terry is a staff writer for the View Newspapers. Contact her at

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