Part 10 of the 12-part series: Why Drama is so important in School. – AFFECT
Affect defined: touch the feelings of (someone); move emotionally.
In psychology, the term “affect” refers to the expression of emotions, feelings, or moods that are outwardly observable. It encompasses the observable and measurable aspects of an individual’s emotional state. Affect involves a range of emotions, including happiness, sadness, anger, fear, excitement, and more.
There are two main components of affect: EMOTION and MOOD
Theatre can benefit a person’s affect by helping them develop the ability to express emotions through facial expressions. Through acting exercises and character development, individuals learn to use their facial muscles in new and dynamic ways, allowing them to convey a wide range of emotions effectively. This can increase their emotional intelligence, and help them better understand and communicate their own emotions, as well as those of others. By learning to control and manipulate their facial and physical expressions, individuals may also better regulate their emotions in real-life situations, increasing emotional resilience.
Engaging in drama and theatre activities can have various positive effects on children’s emotional and social development. Here are some benefits in terms of affect (emotional and psychological aspects):
- Emotional Expression: Drama provides a creative outlet for children and young adults to express and explore a wide range of emotions. Through role-playing and storytelling, kids can better understand and express their feelings.
- Empathy Development: Participating in theatrical activities allows children to step into different character roles and perspectives. Each of these roles creates a new understanding and range of emotions. Although they are just “acting”, they are actively building a new neurological pathway in the brain due to the repetition of playing a specific character.
- Communication Skills: Helping remove the fear of expressing their feelings. Theatre activities enhance verbal and non-verbal communication skills. Kids learn to articulate their thoughts, express ideas clearly, and use body language effectively.
- Problem Solving: By repetitively going through a character’s perspective, many times kids can begin to figure out their own challenges.
- Stress Relief: Engaging in dramatic activities can serve as a form of stress relief. It allows children to temporarily escape reality, explore their imaginations, and release built-up tension. And, many times, built up emotions.
- Self-Reflection: Drama encourages self-reflection as children explore characters and situations. This introspection contributes to emotional intelligence and a deeper understanding of oneself.
In summary, drama and theatre play a crucial role in supporting children’s emotional well-being, fostering empathy, building confidence, and promoting various social and emotional skills.