We all know the importance of maintaining proper physical health. Even if we don’t always eat healthy or exercise, we have a clear understanding of the correlation between these activities and our physical well-being. However, it’s equally important that you care for your mental health; and in many ways, art is just as good as the best online therapy
5 Ways Art Benefits Your Mental Health
If youre like most people, its tempting to feel like art is something that other people do. Over the years, youve probably been conditioned to assume that art is reserved for professional painters, musicians, and performers. But those are just the people who make a living with art. Monetary benefits are only one element of art. There are plenty of other perks that anyone and everyone can enjoy.
On the mental health side of things, regular involvement in art as a hobby or leisure activity can yield benefits like:
1. Increases Mental Stability
No two human brains are identical. Were all wired in unique ways, which means we have to figure what it means for us to be mentally stable as individuals.
For one person, being mentally stable means being focused. For another person, it means being in a constant state of flow. For someone else, it might look like being able to shift gears between running a business and relaxing. But whatever your goal is, art can help.
According to a review published in 2014
, individuals who learn to play music and do so on a regular basis actually improve connectivity between the two hemispheres of their brains. This leads to greater cognitive abilities and stronger mental stability.
2. Establishes Social Connections
If you study people with positive mental health, youll find that they often have strong relationships with other people. They dont always have lots of friends and connections, but the ones they do have are healthy and meaningful.
The great thing about art is that it can be an outlet for establishing strong and supportive social connections. This is especially true of art forms like dance.
Dancers bond over shared activities, improving their personal dance skills, and the love of dance, Radiance Dance Studio
explains. Because dancers are interacting during a collaborative physical activity, interactions tend to be more social and less competitive.
There are also opportunities for forging interpersonal relationships in traditional art forms like painting or poetry. Nearly every city or town has some sort of club, group, or gathering for creatives. Join them and broaden your social circle!
3. Boosts Creativity
By definition, art is a creative endeavor. It encourages creative thinking and imagination in people of all ages, backgrounds, and skillsets.
It also enhances problem-solving skills. Because there is no wrong answer in art, people are encouraged to imagine their own solution, and are more daring with new ways of thinking, Scripps explains
. This type of flexible thinking stimulates your brain and prepares it for complicated functions in the same ways that learning a new language does.
Creativity makes life fun. It also provides a sense of meaning and purpose, which lowers the risk of depression and other related disorders.
4. Lowers Stress and Anxiety
Are you familiar with art therapy?
Its essentially the act of using art to therapeutically address underlying conditions like stress and anxiety. There are countless forms of art therapy, but sketching, finger painting, doodling, and journaling are common choices.
According to a 2016 study
published in the Journal of the American Art Therapy Association, just 45 minutes of creative activity can reduce stress, regardless of artistic talent or experience.
Did you catch that last part? It doesnt matter if youre good at art or not. Even if you can only draw stick figures, doodling on a pad for 45 minutes has the potential to lower your stress level and make you less anxious.
5. Greater Life Satisfaction
Research studies and observation show that art enhances factors like memory and mental cognition in the elderly particularly those with disorders like dementia. In other words, art has the ability to provide greater overall life satisfaction even when pharmaceutical drugs dont work (or there arent any traditional medical treatments available). Mental healthcare workers at OUTT
also recommend art for mental health wellness.
Putting it All Together
We all know the importance of maintaining proper physical health. Even if we dont always eat healthy or exercise, we have a clear understanding of the correlation between these activities and our physical well-being. However, its equally important that you care for your mental health.
Hopefully this article has provided you with some inspiration to get started.