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 of 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!

Art therapy can relieve stress for adults and kids alike. There is a positive connection between art and mental health—artistic activities such as sculpting, painting, or drawing are known to lower stress levels and promote mental calmness. Creating art takes your mind off of your everyday life and provides a relaxing distraction. 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 art therapy is used to treat 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

Creative Thinking is Healthy

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. 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. When you complete a creative project, you may feel a boost of dopamine which can increase drive, improve concentration, and just make you feel good!

This is true 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 enjoy doing it—this is all it takes to experience 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.

“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. Creating visual art helps improve the 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 often accompanied by depression, pain, anxiety, and stress. Take your loved ones who suffer from chronic health issues to see beautiful art and help ease their worries for awhile.

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 have a pleasant escape, the health benefits to immersing you and your loved ones in art are widespread. Take a day, connect with your imagination, and improve your health!

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