Art is a fantastic hobby that can have many positive effects on your mental health. There are a handful of benefits of including art of some sort into your life, whether it’s drawing, painting, playing music, and many more, and this article will share some specific reasons why art is good for you.
Creativity: Out of all of the mental health benefits of art, creative expression is a given, but sometimes, creativity is something that gets taken for granted when looking for a fun activity. Being allowed to be creative means that you have an outlet to use your imagination and express your feelings and emotions, and this freedom alone lays the foundation for other benefits that art provides, which will be discussed throughout this article.
Stress Relief: One of the main purposes of having a creative outlet is to express yourself as a way to cope with distress, especially when it comes from general stress or other mental health issues like depression and anxiety disorders. Although art can be beneficial on its own, there is also art therapy where you work with a professional to find relief by interpreting the art you create and finding solutions for you. It’s another formalised evidence-based psychotherapy technique much like cognitive behavioural therapy, interpersonal therapy, and biofeedback therapy, which you can learn more about here:
The main difference between it and these other approaches to therapy is that it uses art as a tool for understanding your feelings and emotions, and therefore, professionals are trained in both art and psychotherapy to help you do this.
Cognitive Abilities: Being able to be creative through art stimulates parts of the brain that are responsible for cognition, particularly when it comes to learning, problem solving, focus, and memory. Even art has obstacles and challenges, and when you’re given the opportunity to think, you look for ways of approaching them. Problem solving can be developed over time, and you will be able to find creative solutions for ordinary problems in your day-to-day life through what you’ve learned.
A Sense of Purpose and Achievement: Art can boost a person’s self-esteem because it gives them a sense of accomplishment that they may not be able to achieve elsewhere, namely if they don’t have interests in other activities like sports. While validation might not be important or a motivator for a lot of people, these feelings can be amplified if others appreciate the art you create and have good things to say about it.
Social Connection: Piggy-backing on the notion of others showing appreciation for your work, the social aspects of art can become much broader than that. Art has the ability to connect people who have the same interests; for example, people might enjoy the same kind of art, the same era or genre of it, or are influenced by the same artists. It gets people talking to each other, especially those who share the same passions.
It’s Just Fun: Last but not least, art is just a fun and wholesome hobby to do that can make time fly. It can be easy to get absorbed into what you’re creating, and this can help relieve boredom and the negative effects of it. Having fun and enjoying yourself is good for your mental health simply due the fact it can uplift your mood and give you a sense of satisfaction that you did something positive and productive with your day
Conclusion: For a lot of people, art has become a staple in their lives, and it becomes something that they look forward to doing and will actively make time for it. Hopefully, this article has shown you how art can be valuable to your mental health and perhaps, it can also become something that gives you fulfilment and you can appreciate for the rest of your life.
Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health- related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with BetterHelp.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.