Health Benefits of Art

Health Benefits of Art

May 15, 2022 —  The health benefits of art is a scientifically proven fact. Just in looking at the art. I’ll let the Artful Gents tell you more. It’s well worth the read! 

The Health benefits of looking at great art
Grandmother Oak, by Lauren Forcella. Many followers reported feeling good when they looked at this painting.

And now here’s the Artful Gents on the health benefits of art. A decent read for a change:

Art-and-health programs led by artists and musicians may provide health benefits by engaging with participatory arts programs and arts involvement in daily life. The link between arts and mental health is well established in the area of arts therapies, which use arts-based techniques such as painting, dance, and role-playing as an evidence-based intervention to address mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression. Mental health professionals and experts agree that there are a number of benefits of art therapy, ranging from increasing self-esteem, providing a safe outlet to release emotions, giving you a sense of control over your life, and helping you get to know and understand yourself better.    Show Source Texts

It is scientifically proven that art has positive effects on our moods, and it may help to improve our mental health. Studies show that even people suffering from depression, anxiety, or cancer benefit from self-expression via art. Art can have tremendous benefits for your health, contributing to your overall happiness and psychological wellbeing.    Show Source Texts

The experience of viewing stunning artwork has positive effects on your body and psychological well-being. Researchers compare creating art with exercising your brain, even suggesting that, just as exercising your body helps your body, creating art can help you maintain your mind sharp and clear long into your elder years. In another study, cognitive neuroscientists found that creating art reduced cortisol levels (a marker of stress), and that people could induce positive psychological states with art.    Show Source Texts

According to a 2014 study, creating visual arts improved psychological resilience and increased brain activity in participants at the end of the experiment. Studies credit producing visual arts with increasing functional connectivity in the brain, as well as increased activation in the visual cortex.    Show Source Texts

For instance, researchers used biofeedback to investigate visual arts effects on neuroendocrine circuitry and markers, finding biomarkers suggesting visual arts contribute to health, well-being, and facilitate adaptive responses to stress. Studies have shown that the arts build neural systems that generate a wide variety of benefits, from motor skills to creativity and improved emotional balance.    Show Source Texts

In other words, practicing arts can be used to increase ones ability to control ones mental and emotional wellbeing. Participation in arts may empower individuals in dealing with a broad array of mental ill-health conditions and psychological difficulties.    Show Source Texts

More and more people are now realizing that arts and culture can play a valuable role in helping those suffering from mental health problems. Art seems to have a significant role in helping – by providing assistance, encouraging wellbeing, and creating spaces for social connectedness. This is true also for care homes, where arts activities may contribute to increased social interactions among residents, residents, and staff, potentially improving mood and well-being6.    Show Source Texts

There is also growing evidence that arts can be used for promoting mental wellbeing in non-therapeutic settings, for example, using performing arts for learning about core subjects at school, or doing visual arts activities with adults who are psychologically well and wish to maintain that sense of wellbeing. Research suggests that arts therapies may have great value for treating issues like depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and even certain phobias. Targeted to individuals struggling with emotional, behavioral, or mental health issues, the art-making process helps to process feelings, as well as decreases stress and anxiety. Art therapy is a great way to express emotions without words, work through difficult feelings, and find relief.    Show Source Texts

When you are not good at verbalizing your feelings, but want to get an emotional release, making art can help you to do that. Art therapy is used as a natural treatment for anxiety and depression, and the hands-on experience can also lower your stress hormone, cortisol, to healthier levels. Art therapy enhances mental health for individuals dealing with addiction, anxiety, attention disorders, grief and loss, dementia, depression, eating disorders, physical illnesses, post-traumatic stress, trauma, relationship issues, and much more. For people living with dementia, creating art enhances cognitive skills and memory, as well as helping symptoms of depression and anxiety.    Show Source Texts

People often opt to display artwork in their homes for aesthetic reasons, but recent studies show that engaging with the visual arts actually enhances stress, memory, and empathy, both through viewing the arts and creating them. It is easy to take art for granted, but paintings, sculptures, photographs, and others all have the potential to promote healthier states, with better brain function and reduced stress. Art and mental health may have a positive relationship: Art activities like sculpture, painting, or drawing are known for lower stress levels and promoting psychological tranquility. Art can be an effective way of helping people suffering from chronic illnesses, distracting patients from their conditions by focusing on a positive experience, giving them a sense of accomplishment, helping them to express their feelings, and strengthening their identities.    Show Source Texts

Creating art can empower individuals to be more responsible for their health and wellbeing, helping maintain levels of independence and curiosity, and improving the quality of life while providing great pleasure7. The more time spent analysing a work of art, the greater your ability to stimulate both unconscious and conscious brain functions. There is also evidence to suggest that using art and music can decrease the length of hospital stays, with studies showing early discharges in patients taking part in art-based visual and performance interventions as opposed to patients not doing so.69,70 In one study, surgical or critical care patients who participated in guided images or had landscape paintings on the walls had reduced narcotic need for pain medications relative to their peers, and left hospital sooner.71,72 Evaluations of art projects may connect the benefits of creative expression with recovery and increased wellbeing. In particular, shaping clay can be a powerful way to help people express grief through tactile engagement at a somatic level, as well as facilitate verbal communication and cathartic release and reveal unconscious materials and symbols that cannot be expressed through words.66 Women in a qualitative study focusing on cancer described ongoing cancer-related difficulties such as fear for the future, pain, sleeplessness, loss of role, restrictions on activity, reduced self-confidence, and altered social relationships.63 Participation in several types of visual art (textiles, card-making, collage, ceramics, watercolor, acrylics) helped these women in 4 main ways.    Show Source Texts

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Lauren Forcella

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About Lauren Forcella

Painting nature is my way of being devotional to this beautiful planet we’ve been born to. I strive to bring onto the canvas the livingness, aliveness, and wildness of this wonderland we call Earth… Read More

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