More than 2 in every 100 adults aged 18 or older reported current use of smokeless tobacco products, accounting for an impressive 5.9 million adults. And, when it comes to quitting the can for good, going through withdrawals can seem nearly impossible. However, something as simple as art therapy may be able to help. From the wide range of benefits to how it can help — particularly when it comes to finding symbolism, here’s what you need to know.
What is art therapy?
Art therapy is generally defined as involving the use of artistic methods in order to aid mental health, and is rooted in the idea that creative expression can foster healing and mental wellbeing. With that in mind, there are a number of notable creative therapy routes, including dance therapy, music therapy, and writing therapy in addition to art therapy, highlighting the wide range of options that prove there is something for everyone. Although art therapy may commonly be found in professional settings, it can easily be utilized on one’s own at home, too, making it very accessible for those who may be going through a difficult period when looking to quit smokeless tobacco.
How it helps
Because art therapy is used to treat a wide range of both mental disorders, including anxiety, stress, substance use disorders, as well as emotional difficulties (to name just a few), it’s safe to say that it can certainly be of use to someone who is experiencing withdrawals from smokeless tobacco. This is primarily because art therapy is an exceptional way to overcome difficulties that quitting tobacco may present, such as allowing the expression of feelings without words through a creative outlet. However, art therapy can also aid by allowing you to restore your identity through strengthening self esteem, which can be particularly beneficial if smokeless tobacco has become a major part of your identity. Additionally, art therapy can also be a valuable way to feel empowered and more in control of the withdrawal process by allowing you to control your emotions in a productive and efficient way.
Finding symbolism via art
If you’re thinking about utilizing art therapy to overcome a smokeless tobacco addiction and aid you through the withdrawal process, there are a number of ways to easily get started. Keeping a sketchbook is a great way to do just that, and finding meaningful drawing references can only strengthen the emotional connection you may develop with your art along the way, as well as allowing you to keep track of your progress. For example, the daffodil is a flower with an abundance of meaning. Being one of the first springtime flowers to emerge in temperate climates, this flower signifies the new year in Iran; something that you may be able to draw parallels with in regards to a new beginning after facing addiction. With step-by-step drawing tutorials, you can begin to draw and reap the benefits of art therapy — even if you’re a beginner.
Going through withdrawals when trying to give up smokeless tobacco for good may seem nearly impossible to manage. However, by finding a new hobby or passion via art therapy, you can not only reap the many benefits that it has, but develop an emotional connection to your art that will aid in getting through a difficult time successfully.