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Art is essential. We encounter it every single day of our lives. We see art on TV, on the streets, in windows, and advertisements. Without art, life, and the world around us, would be dull. Art creates impactful content and can make a powerful difference in any message. Art is also for everyone to enjoy. Anyone can create and benefit from practicing art.
Long gone is the idea that you must have a certain level of skill or talent to create beautiful art. Anyone and everyone is an artist, it’s simply about finding what you like, and letting go of whatever thoughts or feelings may be holding you back. Art is an amazing tool for both your body and your mind. It opens a door of possibilities; you simply need to walk through.
Why Art Matters
When you think about it, art impacts everything. It may influence why you stop to look at a promotional poster. It may draw you towards a certain brochure or pamphlet. You may encounter something that brings you happiness to see it on your wall every day. Art creates a feeling within us, and without art, our lives might as well be like an old black-and-white TV show.
On a more personal level, art can change the way you feel and interact with the world around you. Art relieves stress, encourages creative thinking, and even increases your brain plasticity which in turn helps in other mentally beneficial ways.
Art matters because it is for everyone. There is a misconception that not all can create art. Some feel that they weren’t born with artistic ability. There is an idea that if you can’t create a beautiful painting or a breathtaking sculpture, you don’t have what it takes to be an ideal artist. The truth of the matter is that every single person can create art.
We were all born with a desire to express ourselves. This expression doesn’t need to be boxed into false ideas of what expression is. Art encompasses a wide range of activities; it simply becomes a matter of finding which activity you connect with the best.
The Mental Benefits of Art
Your brain is a muscle that demands exercise. In your day-to-day life, it is easy to fall into a predictable routine that defines your every decision. This repetitiveness can lead to essentially having the same thoughts each day – which can lead to feelings of stress and a lack of real enjoyment from life. It is important to break out of the daily cycles and routines you find yourself in. By introducing art into your life, you can open your mind up to more creative thoughts and unique experiences that break up the mundane.
Art can be a form of distraction, and this distraction can help to alleviate stress in your life. Painting, sculpting, drawing, and even photography are relaxing hobbies that can lower stress and allow you to feel more mentally clear and calm. When you can immerse yourself into an activity, you can then push aside all your worries and focus on the task at hand.
This focus is like meditation. You can let the day-to-day stuff go and simply ground yourself in the art you are creating. This also helps you to concentrate on smaller details and pay more attention to the environment around you. Life is full of stress and demands, that art allows you to let go of, even if it is for just a small period of time.
Whatever art form you choose, it doesn’t have to be complicated. Find what happily distracts you. This can be anything from painting, crafting, or even utilizing an adult coloring book. In fact, adult coloring books are a huge trend right now. They come in a variety of forms, and some are specifically meant to help de-stress your life. Don’t let misconceptions of what art is stop you from finding an activity that allows you to be creative. Grab a colored pencil and stay in the lines, or don’t! That’s the true beauty of art.
Adult Coloring Book with Stress Relieving Designs
Art Improves Creative Thinking
While taking a break from stress in your life is a great mental benefit of art, it also provides a way to think creatively, in a world that may keep you from discovering that side of you. Art enhances problem-solving skills, which can translate well into your more routine activities. It provides the same problem-solving benefits as math would, but the best thing about art is that there is no one correct answer.
Art, in whatever form, encourages you to think about your task at hand and come up with your own unique solutions. Creative thinking or ‘out-of-the-box’ thinking has been shown to stimulate the brain to grow new neurons. This means that by utilizing art, you’ll be improving aspects of your life you may not realize.
When it comes to creative thinking, it is important to realize old misconceptions we once held true. For many of us growing up, we were taught in school that some of us were naturally more right-brained thinkers, and some were naturally more left-brained. In fact, you might even remember having to take a little quiz or complete an activity that would show you which side you leaned towards.
It was believed that right-brained thinkers would be the more creative thinkers, while left-brained thinkers tended to be more analytical. What we now know today, is that both hemispheres of your brain benefit from art.
You can, in fact, be both analytical and creative.
No matter how left-brained you might have once considered yourself, don’t let that hold you back from embracing your creativity.
Art Can Improve Self-Esteem
When it comes to mental health, our self-esteem or feelings of self-worth can be the first to be impacted. Every one of us measures ourselves in some way. We face pressure everywhere – socially, at work, in the classroom, and even just within ourselves. Immersing yourself in art can allow you to let those feelings go. Art allows you to re-embrace what makes you, you, and that can be a great boost to your overall self-esteem.
As a kid, you probably at some point had a work of art proudly displayed on the fridge. Your parents might not have had a clue what the drawing was supposed to be, but they were still proud of your accomplishment, and recognized the boost to your self-esteem placing that work of art on the fridge would have. That boost to your self-esteem still exists, and your art should still be displayed proudly!
That feeling as a kid was largely in part to the neurotransmitters in your brain known as dopamine. This neurotransmitter provides you with that good feeling. Art increases dopamine, which in turn, boosts your drive, your focus, and your concentration. This benefits several areas in your life. Increased dopamine can help you to better plan to achieve your goals versus acting on impulse. New neurons are created from dopamine that help to better prepare your brain for increased learning.
Many different art forms can provide this lasting benefit; it’s all about finding what you enjoy. If you aren’t big into painting or sculpting, more hands-on crafting hobbies may be up your alley. This would include areas such as knitting, crocheting, scrapbooking, woodworking, or other forms of DIY. Any of these activities can help increase dopamine, which will ward off depression, keep your brain active, and allow you that feel-good feeling that you deserve.
Increased Feel-Good Feelings
The boost to your self-esteem through art can really help to change the way you see yourself in the world. Art can also help to increase empathy, and the feeling of love. Art impacts our lives every day, and even simply viewing art can give pleasure, much like the feeling of falling in love.
Whether viewing art or creating it, will increase that feel-good feeling of dopamine. Studies have been conducted that show even a single trip to a museum helped students show an increase in critical thinking skills. They also demonstrated a greater empathy regarding how people lived in the past, as well as led to a greater expression of tolerance towards others that may have different views or lifestyles.
Feeling good about yourself and others is just one of the many benefits achieved by welcoming art into your life. Even if you can’t go to a museum every day, there are many amazing apps that allow you to virtually experience great works of art. You may even browse the works of others through online art galleries.
Benefits of Art for the Brain
Art doesn’t just impact the way you think or feel, it can also improve the way in which your brain functions. Art helps to increase the connectivity and plasticity in the brain. New or complex activities will lead to the creation of new connections between brain cells. Your brain’s plasticity is its ability to grow connections and change connections throughout your lifetime. Art stimulates communication between the different parts of your brain, which can increase psychological and emotional resilience, as well as resistance to stress.
Art also helps dementia patients improve their lives. Art can aid in enhancing cognitive abilities and the capacity to hold onto memories. These benefits have been shown to help those who are dealing with dementia. Dementia is typically associated only with memory loss, but patients also experience other symptoms such agitation, anxiety, depression, and even insomnia. Dementia can take quite a toll, but art can allow that momentary freedom from those symptoms that can be overwhelming at times.
Other Health Benefits of Art
The benefits of art are endless. Not only do they help the brain better function, as well as release those feel-good feelings, but art can also help alleviate the weight of chronic health conditions. Art allows patients to think about something else besides their illness, letting them focus on something productive and positive.
Chronic health conditions can tend to define a person, and art allows that person to remember and hold onto their identity outside of their condition. Art allows for the feeling of achieving something creative, an outlet to express feelings, as well as to reduce stress.
Art benefits all ages, but it has been shown to significantly help children become better students. Science supports the long-standing idea that music and art programs help make better students. Musical training, especially, can help improve performance in math, language, and reading.
These benefits, when established in childhood, can carry into adult life as well. Art lessons help to increase brain plasticity, fuel higher intelligence levels, boost IQ, and help aid in focused attention. Art allows a child a way to express themselves, helping to improve overall behavior and reduce impulsiveness that can be counterproductive in a classroom setting.
Art therapy has proven to help many individuals who are seeking professional help and do best in instances where they can use creativity as an outlet. Art therapy can improve physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Art can help reduce anxiety, depression, addiction, PTSD, chronic pain, and even disorders such as bipolar, dementia, and Alzheimer’s.
The Power of Art
Through art, all things are possible. Art helps shape the world around us and can impact the ways in which we see the world. Art allows you to break away from the mundane and reconnect with your creative side. Opening your creative side can increase your brain plasticity while also bringing you feelings of true happiness and accomplishment.
Art provides a creative focus, it reduces stress, and it boosts self-esteem. Art can give us a better appreciation of the world, and the people around us. The benefits of art are endless and can be attained by anyone. Art comes in a wide range of different forms and finding what you enjoy can make a world of difference. The world needs art. Artists great or small can impact the word around them, both individually as well as part of a team.
Art can open an endless number of doors; it’s all about taking that first step through.