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February 12, 2020 | Farah Jassawalla

Ways in which art can be good for your health

According to studies, there is a strong connection between art and stress reduction. Creating something from scratch can have tremendous effects on your mood. Art also has a huge impact on your ability to solve problems. Furthermore, making art activates the reward center in your brain, turning it into a pleasurable experience. Art can also be cathartic in many ways. You don't have to be armed with an art degree to express yourself and to achieve all the benefits. All you need to do is to just begin.
 
Art therapy is one of the ways that are being utilized by therapists nowadays for stress and anxiety management. But the good thing is, you don't need to step out of the house to avail of the tremendous benefits of creating art. Basic creative activities like sketching or sculpting with clay can make you feel less stressed. That said, going to a therapist always has its advantages as s/he can choose an activity best suited to your situation. Group art therapy can even be better as it gives rise to community building and hence, better chances of fighting depression. But if you are not comfortable indulging in self-expression in front of a group, it is best to try creating art on your own.
 
Art can help you learn how to handle your varying behaviors and process your feelings in a better manner. You will also be able to reduce stress and anxiety due to indulging in art. Often, there are several complicated feelings buried deep down inside of us that we do not want to confront. Art can help us acknowledge those feelings and realize that they need to be tackled. Creating art produces a sense of accomplishment every time you do it. Hence the whole process will leave you with a feeling of self-accomplishment that can do wonders to increase your overall self-confidence.
 
One of the major ways in which art can have a good effect on your health is the outlet for expression that it provides you with. The pent up feelings that you can't seem to let go of; art gives you a platform to release all those feelings and many a time fears. Words at times are not enough to deal with complex emotions such as sadness or anger, which art can take care of quite nicely. If it is becoming a consistent problem for you to express yourself completely, then art will come to your rescue, provided you let it. When you have to fight mental disorders like anxiety or depression regularly, it is bound to wear you down. Making art will help you relieve that stress and relax your mind.
 
Again, you don't need to be a professional artist to use art to improve your health, as human beings are inherently creative. Studies show that making art results in the release of dopamine -- which is also known as the happy hormone -- in the body. This hormone is released whenever we do something that makes us happy, resulting in making us feel more joyous. You can make use of this feel-good hormone, especially if you are suffering from anxiety or depression.
 
Mental health professionals are of the view that creating art can be extremely good for your health, especially mental health. Apart from boosting your self-esteem, it also provides you with a sense of control over your life so you can navigate it in a better manner. Art creation is essentially a journey of self-discovery that helps you improve your ability to communicate in a batter manner with yourself and the whole world.

Farah Jassawalla

Farah Jassawalla is a graduate of the Lahore School of Economics. She is also a writer, and a healthcare enthusiast, having closely observed case studies while working with Lahore's thriving general physicians at their clinics.

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