Art is introduced to all of us in childhood and irrespective of whether we are good at it or not, it makes us feel happy. However, as we grow up, amidst chasing goals and targets, we often forget to focus on ourselves. We rarely focus on what truly makes us happy, rejuvenates us, and gives us contentment. Thus, we forget about art as well. We then end up with mental or physical health conditions that could have been avoided if only we had made some time for art in our lives.
No, I am not kidding. Art really does keep us healthy and happy. Little wonder then that according to research done by leading counselors and therapists, art is the best form of therapy there is.
Art Therapy? What’s that?
According to Psychology Today, “Art therapy involves the use of creative techniques such as drawing, painting, collage, coloring, or sculpting to help people express themselves artistically and examine the psychological and emotional undertones in their art. With the guidance of a credentialed art therapist, clients can “decode” the nonverbal messages, symbols, and metaphors often found in these art forms, which should lead to a better understanding of their feelings and behavior so they can move on to resolve deeper issues. ”
In fact, you don’t even need to visit a professional to experience the therapeutic benefits of art. As long as you regularly invest time in the type of art you are interested in—be it painting, drawing, coloring, etc.—it will act as therapy for you.
Now that we’ve understood understand what art therapy is, let’s take a look at how practicing art benefits our mental and physical health.
It helps improve self-management
In our fast-paced world, youngsters often go off-track due to addiction to poisons like drugs, alcohol, and porn that have adverse effects on their health. As they say, prevention is better than cure. The more art teens and young adults inculcate into their daily lives, the more they’ll stay away from such life-ruining negativity. Thus, art helps you practice some much-needed self-care and enhances your ability to manage yourself.
It reduces stress
A working adult’s day starts with answering work calls, replying to emails, taking care of the household and family, chasing and meeting targets, etc. This leads to nothing but an increase in stress levels. Stress is a major reason for various diseases like high blood pressure, anxiety, depression, migraine, heart diseases, etc. The best way to avoid these lifestyle diseases and their medications is to practice some art in your everyday schedule.
It builds self-esteem
Studies show that individuals who have more confidence and social skills are more likely to develop healthy habits. Art helps build the self-awareness and self-esteem necessary to tackle various social situations and life challenges.
It acts as a positive distraction
Distractions from an addiction or bad habit can be very liberating and refreshing. Art, in any form, can help people to focus on the positive while keeping their minds off of cravings and negative thoughts.
It improves problem solving skills
By opening the mind, art therapy encourages people to seek smart solutions to problems rather than rely on drugs or alcohol. This is especially helpful in young adults who may struggle with fitting in or keeping up with the rapid changes in their lives.
Art has the ability to inspire people and make them see things from a different perspective. Whether it’s painting a portrait, writing a story or playing a piece of music, art stimulates the brain and encourages positive actions in people’s lives. Through artistic expression, people are able to communicate thoughts, ideas or fears in a way that verbal communication is sometimes incapable of. They could even discover something about themselves they didn’t know.
So what are you waiting for? Go create some art of your own today!
Krupa Shah is an abstract artist based in Mumbai, India. You can purchase her intriguing artwork at Mojarto.