How Art is Therapeutic

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How Art is Therapeutic

How Art is TherapeuticAmongst the many misconceptions surrounding art is the belief that you have to be born with the talent to achieve something from it.  So many people are afraid to delve into arts because they think that there is no benefit from it because they do not know anything about it – or they believe they are “talentless”.  Well, let me say, that does not hold true.  I have seen and known of many a person who states they have no skill, gain so much from the actual act of being artistic.  Remember also that art comes in many forms.  Art can be painting, or drama, singing or playing music, or pottery, sculpture, printing … the list goes on and on.  Art has been a large chunk of my entire life; from bringing inspiration, motivation, peace, harmony, confidence and success, it has also brought me a wide array of actions that is advantageous to my growth and well-being.

One of the many benefits art has that I myself have proven true is its therapeutic help.  Art, in a good number of ways, allows us to use our imagination in creating and exploring challenges and activities.

 

How art is therapeutic

 

Creating art helps in relieving stress.

It provides our brain with a distraction from our usual worrying thoughts.  I recommend that you engage in activities like sculpting, drawing, painting, photography or any other activities that will help you relax.  These activities are also rewarding and can absolutely decrease stress levels which leaves you with a calm and mentally clear feeling.  Art is as good as hugging a loved one, patting a pet, going for a jog to whacking the life out of a punching bag.  In my case, whenever I am engrossed in any of my creative endeavours, I find myself in harmony, peace and a high level of positiveness.

Art can boost self-esteem and provides a good sense of fulfillment.

Remember when we were kids, how happy we were when our parents stuck our art on the fridge – it represented how proud they were of our achievements.  You can agree with me or not, but in my case, each time I finish an artwork, my “feel good” neurotransmitter dopamine surges to a high level boosting my drive, awareness, and focus.  It helps me to forecast and set up goals without fears for inclinations. Of course, there are other easy ways to learn and finish artworks. Crafting activities such as quilting, knitting, sewing, crocheting, gardening, and woodworking are great diversions to keep depression at bay, heighten that sense of worth, and shield the brain from aging.

Also, did you know that our brain has the ability to cultivate connections?

This process is called brain plasticity or neuroplasticity.  And each time we employ in a new intricate activity, our mind creates fresh connections among brain cells; thus, creating art kindles communication among different parts of the brain. It has been proven to boost psychological flexibility, and also fights stress and I believe, wards off aging.  Art definitely helps us become more intelligent because as they say and as I believe, our intellect further depends on the amount of brain connections rather than the size of our brain.

Moreover, even people with serious brain disorders can highly benefit from arts.

Perhaps this is why disabled people are encouraged to participate in some form of art?  Arts enhance cognitive abilities and memory. Persons suffering from dementia can gain healing benefits from creating arts by improving their social behaviour and self-esteem. It also helps in reducing their psychiatric symptoms because, through visual arts, they are able to increase connectivity between the left and right hemisphere of the brain which helps them grow new brain cells.  Children having a tough go of things are encouraged to express themselves in art – no wonder – it’s so therapeutic and often can replace the need for words.

And with all the therapeutic advantages mentioned above, it is also worth citing that it is not only through creating art that people can gain from it but also through viewing it.  The sight of art raises empathy, acceptance, and the feeling of love.  Most of the people I know who have visited galleries and museums have become different persons after.  They have learned to show compassion towards people who have existed in the past and expressed better forbearance for people of different cultures, beliefs and way of life.

Art is, without a doubt, therapeutic especially to our mental health and can highly contribute to making us healthier and happier human beings.

We may not know it, but it helps in easing the feeling of heaviness in people with chronic health conditions, as well as their companion.  Listening to good and appropriate music makes patients set aside for a little while the thoughts about their sickness and makes them focus on their positive experiences and memories.

It is not too late to get involved with arts especially if your goal is to gain a therapeutic advantage.  It can start with a pencil and paper whilst sitting at the dining table.  Whilst you can spend a fortune on supplies, sometimes basic and simple items are all you need to start.  For this reason, there is absolutely no reason to not ‘have a go’ at something artistic and regardless of the outcome, enjoy the experience.  Go on – why not give it a go?!


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