The Mental Health Benefits of Art
Art for Everyone! The Mental Health Benefits of Art
Art can be tremendously beneficial to your health and contribute to overall happiness and mental well-being. Visiting one our local art museums, or taking a painting or ceramics class, is the perfect excuse for San Diegans to spend a day doing something fun while improving health and quality of life for you and your loved ones.
“Art washes from the soul the dust of everyday life.” — Pablo Picasso
Don’t Stress, Paint!
The health benefits of art include relieving stress for adults and kids alike. Art and mental health can have a positive connection— artistic activities such as sculpting, painting, or drawing are known to lower stress levels and promote mental calmness. It takes your mind off of your everyday life and provides a relaxing distraction. Your brain gets into a mental flow when creating art; worries are set aside as you focus on the detail of the art you are creating. The benefits of this mental relief is one reason why creating art is used as a therapy for PTSD. Adult coloring books are a popular escape for people of all ages!
“In art, the hand can never execute anything higher than the heart can imagine.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
Get Creative with Art
Another benefit of art is that it encourages creative thinking and imagination in kids and adults. 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. This type of flexible thinking stimulates your brain and prepares it for complicated functions in the same ways that learning a new language does.
“To practice any art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow. So do it.” — Kurt Vonnegut
Feel Better about Yourself
Creating art boosts self-esteem and provides a sense of accomplishment in adults and children. It produces dopamine, which makes people feel good, increases drive, and improves concentration. When you finish a creative project, you feel a boost of dopamine that gives you a sense of accomplishment.
This is the case for any type of craft or hobby—you don’t have to create a masterpiece to reap the benefits. Use your hands, create something, and feel good about it; this is enough to gain the mental health benefits of art. The process stimulates the creation of new neural pathways in your brain that improves your overall sense of well-being, prevents depression, and even slows down aging.(1)
“I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way–things I had no words for.” — Georgia O’Keeffe
Make Memories with Art
This might be the most compelling reason to take your seniors to an art class or museum. Art can enhance cognitive abilities and memory for people with serious brain disorders, such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. (2) Creating visual art helps improve quality of life for patients with these conditions by giving them a source of pleasure, increasing connectivity and promoting cell growth in the brain.
“The only time I feel alive is when I’m painting.” — Vincent Van Gogh
Forget Pain through Art
Chronic health conditions are prevalent among many San Diegans. They are often accompanied by depression, pain, anxiety, and stress. Take your loved ones who suffer from chronic health issues to see beautiful art and help them escape their illness for the day.
Art can be an effective way to help those who suffer from chronic conditions by distracting patients from their condition while focusing on a positive experience, giving them a sense of achievement, helping them express their feelings, and strengthening their identity.
Going to museums and art walks provide a fun, imaginative, positive experience for adults, kids, and seniors. Whether you learn something new, re-discover your passion, or escape for the day, the health benefits to immersing you and your loved ones in art are widespread. Take a day, reconnect with your imagination, and improve your health!