Art's tangible, beneficial effects on mental health have been supported by science for quite some time now. Quite literally, studies have shown, art plays a major role in healing. Researchers from Florida State University have found biological evidence of visual art positively impacting health and wellness. This concept has been explored so much so that a new field of research was recently birthed: neuroaesthetics.
Long story short: there's a whole lot of science to back up art's mental health benefits. So much so, in fact, that it's even used in therapy! Read on to learn more about what makes art invaluable and helpful for keeping the mind happy and healthy.
Art Gives a Sense of Accomplishment and Improves Self-Esteem
When a person completes a painting, finishes colouring a page or ties the last bead into a handmade necklace, they get a sense of accomplishment. The vert act of creating a work of art and getting the job done is a key booster for self-esteem, too. Dopamine, the brain's "feel-good" neurotransmitter, has been found by some studies to get a boost from art. There's a lot of good both mentally and for the physical structure of the brain.
Art Is a Great Way for Memory to Improve
Art therapy has been used more and more for dementia treatment across the globe over the years. The brain's connectivity and plasticity get a major boost whenever there's a tricky and new activity at hand. Simply put, if you’re focused on art, you’re sharpening your brain’s functions.
Art Is Key for Stress Relief and Heightened Awareness
The amount of concentration that goes into making art can be pretty intensive. People working on art-related activities end up in a zone that's pretty much like meditating. That kind of focus leads to concerning or stressful thoughts being shelved, easing the mind considerably. Creating art (whether it's a painting on canvas, a sweater being knit, pottery, sketching on a notepad or even performance art like choreographing a new dance) is a fantastic way to let loose, which can release stress.
Creative Thinking Is Highlighted While Problem Solving Is Sharpened by Art
Science has also found that when someone's mental health declines, chances are their brain cells aren't communicating well. This is a different take on the common misconception that ties it to the "death" of brain cells. Communication matters for the brain since ideas are brought about by both the left and right sides. Mental exercises like creating art involve new ways of using the senses, giving the brain a workout. Since the brain is essentially a muscle, this is highly beneficial.
Over the years, several studies have proven just how beneficial art can be for the mind. It improves brain function, which can also affect your mental and emotional health. Art can help your memory improve, boost your creative thinking skills and sharpen your problem-solving skills. One art form that can give you all these benefits is painting. So, grab a brush and unleash your inner Picasso!