Art is something that pretty much everyone enjoys. It can be in the form of a film, a painting, or dance, or music, etc. There are many different ways an artist can express themselves, but did you know that while in the act of creating, the artist actually benefits from a boost in their well-being. Intuitively we are aware that the act of creating is beneficial, but why? In a world that seems to grow so many people with mental health issues, perhaps we should explore why Art is so helpful and can be seen as a way to self-care.
Art as Meditation
Becoming engrossed in the act of creating can be likened to a meditative state. And meditation is well known for the benefits it has on mental health. While in the act of creating, you simply disappear into a sort of flow state where nothing else exists except you and the work. It gets you out of your head for a time and allows you to focus on something positive. In a way, you are retraining your mind in a way that increases awareness of other things. It also improves the way you deal with your thoughts and feelings by being more accepting of yourself and others. It also makes you unjudgmental in the way you think. Creating Art is a form of mind and body relaxation.
Art is Social
By picking up an artistic pursuit, even if at first it seems solitary, like writing, for example, you will discover that art is implicitly social. You will need someone else to read your work, for one. You will build networks with like-minded people, join clubs and classes the more you get into your pursuit. You will feel as if you are becoming part of a community. Many artistic pursuits are explicitly social, like dance and other performing arts. You may want a join a theatre company such as Travis Preston CalArts, where you can really get your teeth into performing and learning new things as well.
Art Improves Brain-Power
No this is not wishful thinking. Partaking in some sort of artistic pursuit really impacts brain waves, emotions, the nervous system, and it can even raise serotonin, the happy chemical. By writing, you may improve your memory and better organize your thoughts, not to mention by learning more words you better be able to express yourself. People who learn to play an instrument are said to have better connections between their brain’s left and right hemispheres. The performing arts, such as acting, and this is especially true in older people, can improve their physiological well-being as well as their cognitive ability in as little as four weeks. Art can improve a person’s problem-solving ability as well as their memory and recall skills.
Don’t doubt it. Performing an artistic pursuit can help you physically too. Some studies show that writing may help people with chronic pain. Creating and listening to music can boost the immune system. It may help stimulate the brain in certain ways which are beneficial to pain and illnesses.