The value of creative expression is a therapeutic one; sometimes the simple act of “getting something off your chest” is helpful in and of itself. In fact, the results of one study are significant: University students on academic probation were encouraged to write about their feelings and life experiences. After this creative expression study, participating students reported being happier, scored better in their courses, and reported fewer incidents of seeking medical care.
The act of drawing or painting helps create connections between the right and left hemispheres of the brain, leading to states of positive relaxation. It is speculated that creative expression even improves intelligence. Drawing, music, dancing, and journaling are all ways to dialogue with the subconscious mind. Often a student will spontaneously understand the solution to a problem or the root of a limiting belief by participating in creativity exercises. As the axiom goes, "The mind that created the problem does not have the ability to solve it." Creativity often gives a distance, a fresh angle, from which to see a situation and resolve it.
It's often said, “I’ll believe it when I see it.” It's equally true to say, “I’ll see it when I believe it.” In addition to the value of creating images for expression, the creation of images for a purpose is equally powerful. One can also learn to use the powers of his or her imagination and visualization to create and manifest the outcome that he or she wants to achieve. It’s like throwing out a hook into the future towards that which is desired. After all, if one can’t even imagine what the outcome is like, then how can one ever achieve it?
When a student is failing in a course in school, it can seem as if everybody else is succeeding. Or as soon as one gets a new red car, it seems as if they are everywhere, whereas before it seemed there weren’t any at all. As soon as one’s awareness is tuned-in to the idea of the red car – when it’s in one’s consciousness, present as an image – then one notices the red cars. Similarly, when students "see" their achievement, they can start to "see" their achievement more and more often. In fact, they begin to see success all over the place - as ubiquitous as that hitherto, seemingly non-existent red car.
Further, when a student is delighted with something he’s created or seen in the mind’s eye (like a dance on the stage, a home run on the field, a score on an essay), it gives him the confidence and ability to create things in the world. These are some of the tremendous powers of visualization.