Well, get out not only your paintbrushes, but your also your guitars, notebooks, pottery, and clay. Get out all your tools to be creative and explorative! You’ve got a few days off so why not take advantage of the time and enjoy yourself!
Teens are naturally creative. Because of the teen brain, which is still developing, the logical part of the brain hasn’t kicked in yet. It’s the very reason why teens tend to be impulsive and emotional. However, there’s a purpose to the more emotional brain and that is that adolescence is a time to explore, be creative, find oneself, and lose themselves too. It’s not the same stage of life your parents are in. They have routine, structure, foundation because they’ve been working hard to build it throughout their lives. And you’ll get there too. But for now, it’s important to first uncover who you are, what you’d like to do, and what inspires you.
In fact, according to the developmental psychologist Erik Erikson, adolescence is the very time to discover one’s identity and uncover what makes their heart sing. One way to do this is to create. Creativity opens doors in the mind. Logic and reason, which you probably get a lot of in school, is important but it’s not necessarily going to help you discover what is meaningful for you….unless you find that you enjoy math, science, and geometry.
Even if you find that science and math really intrigue you, art and music can still be used to help open you to new ideas you might not have had before. Now, it’s one thing to do art according to a particular technique, perhaps you learned in art class. And it’s another thing to give your expression to whatever comes to you. Whatever you see in your mind’s eye, give it expression. Whatever feeling or impulse that arises inside of you, do it. Let the creative side of you have its way. Let the feelings, images, and sensations have their expression!
This is really useful for those who really want to be creative but feel like they can’t. And it can be a useful exercise for those teens who were raised in families that we predominantly intellectual and logical. If you want to let go of the rigidness that the logical mind can sometimes have, simply give expression to whatever arises inside of you. You can paint, draw, write, dance, or sculpt. Whatever medium works for you, go for it!
You might find that when you are creative, you’ll have ideas about your life, an intuition about a relationship you’re in, or a vision about which college to go to. You might find that art helps you feel more at ease with yourself, develop more self-trust, and appreciation for your life. In fact, being creative is great for teens who are depressed. If you’ve ever felt like you’re down in the dumps and if you have those feelings a lot, try being creative on a regular basis and see if that helps.
It’s important to note, however, that if you feel like you’re depressed frequently, then yes, be creative, but also talk to a parent, school counselor, or other mental health professional for support.
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Paradigm Malibu is an adolescent mental health and drug treatment center dedicated to identifying, understanding and properly treating the core issues that impact teens and their families.