5 Self-Care Benefits of Art

Creative activities are good for emotional wellbeing.

Painting is good for your mental wellbeing.

(Irina Polonina / Shutterstock.com)

Whether poetic words on a page, paint on a brush, or notes soaring from an instrument, art provides a type of self-expression to communicate the experience of life through different mediums. Painting, sculpting, writing, drawing, you can find all kinds of creative activities and enjoy all the amazing benefits of art. 

Helps process your emotions
Today, we are learning more and more about the importance of mental health for overall well being. It turns out that art can play a big role in maintaining a healthy state of mind, especially when dealing with times of crisis. 

Take it from Christianne Strang, a professor of neuroscience at the University of Alabama Birmingham. She told NPR that art helps process emotions, an important skill in navigating mental health distress. 

Strang suggests trying out a bit of freeform sketching or drawing. Take a paintbrush or colored pencil and allow your emotions to guide you. This can help connect with your emotions and express yourself beyond words. 

Type of meditation
When you hear the word meditation, you might think of a monk sitting crossed-legged in silence. But there are many forms of active meditation, including art.

In fact, Tibetan monks have a practice of creating beautiful mandalas as a form of meditation. They spend hours and hours creating intricate geometrical patterns made from colorful dyed grains in quiet contemplation. According to Yah Hai India, people around the world are adopting the practice of coloring or creating mandalas as a form of art therapy, to ease the mind, relieve stress, and spark creativity.

May improve focus and mental performance
Learning to focus helps accomplish your priorities, which leads to more satisfaction and success in life. If you tend to procrastinate, doodle, or daydream, you can hone your focus skills with art. According to the Dana Foundation, training in any type of art, such as music, dance, or theater, improves the brain’s attention span. You could call it a mental workout because it strengthens your ability to focus and your cognitive performance overall.

Helps with problem solving
If you feel stumped on something, take an art break! A study found that those who practice art regularly improve their problem-solving skills. Immersing yourself in a creative activity like art helps solve real-world problems. Using your imagination, you fire up different areas of the brain. You allow your mind to wander which can spark new ideas. Even something as simple as an adult coloring book with crayons can work. 

Boosts self-esteem
According to PBS, children who participate in art activities build self-respect. The praise they receive from their peers, when drawing or painting, makes them feel good. At the same time, they learn how to accept criticism. Not to mention, working hard to create art instills a sense of pride. When you put your time and effort towards an art project, and see it through to the end, you feel proud of your accomplishment and experience a nice boost to your self-esteem. 

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