Can Art & Design Help Your Mental Health?
For millions of people around the world, art provides a release for them that they can’t get anywhere else and it helps them cope with the stresses of ordinary life. This article will discuss how art can be an effective tool for mental health and why you should try it if you haven’t already.
Art Benefits Your Mood
Everyone knows that art is a way for people to be creative, but don’t fully understand the benefits of having a creative outlet.
Having the freedom to express yourself through art can have tremendous benefits on your mental health, and many studies have shown that it could provide relief for all kinds of disorders, including depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
By being able to release your feelings and emotions into your art, you actually allow yourself to be more open to positive ones because the act of being creative releases neurotransmitters such as dopamine that influence your mood.
Art Improves Focus
All art forms, whether it’s drawing, painting, sculpting, or music, require a lot of concentration, and the good thing about it is that people have a tendency to use it as a way to distract themselves from things that are causing them stress.
By being able to tune out everything else and focus on what you’re working on in front of you, art can effectively become an escape from your burdens but still being able to address them productively at the same time.
Healthy coping mechanisms, like art, are great ways to calm your mind, and perhaps, with time you can learn how to apply more concentration into other important aspects of your life.
Art Reinforces Memory
While on the topic of attention and focus, another cognitive benefit of creative outlets like art is that it can improve your memory and prevent it from deteriorating.
This is especially useful for people who may be experiencing cognitive decline, or dementia, from larger underlying disorders like Alzheimer’s disease. Even though art won’t stop the progression of the conditions, it can certainly help slow it down and improve a patient’s quality of life.
Nonetheless, art’s effect on memory can be beneficial for perfectly healthy individuals of all ages because it makes you think and remember, not just technique and how to create, but how it makes you feel.
Art As Therapy
Art in itself is very therapeutic and provides many mental health benefits, as you can tell so far from this article, but it has been introduced as a form of expressive therapy with empirical evidence to support, and it has been appropriately called art therapy.
Art therapy combines art and the psychological techniques you’d encounter with an ordinary therapist; however, art therapy is a specialized skill that requires a professional to be trained in both fields.
Your therapist will work with you and go over your creations to help you understand the feelings and emotions behind your art and how you can address them. Don’t worry though, you don’t need any prior experience with art; it is a form of self-discovery that can foster healing.
Where To Find A Therapist
As mentioned before, art therapy is a specialization, so art therapists are less abundant than other types of professionals, but by running a search online, you may find results in your area. Nonetheless, art therapists are often found in hospitals, schools, clinics, and assisted living homes, helping people with emotional needs.
However, if you’d prefer to keep art a separate hobby, but you still want to consider therapy, you can still attend regular counseling and therapy and learn valuable skills that can help you cope with any obstacle that you run into..
Online therapy is a stress-free way to receive assistance from licensed professionals and by signing up today at MyTherapist you can find self-growth and improve your mental health.
If you’re looking for something to keep your mind occupied, art might be one of the healthiest and most productive ways to do that. Regardless if you’re an experienced freelance artist or graphic designer or you’re simply curious about art and how it can benefit you, hopefully, this article has shown you just how effective creating something can be on your wellbeing, and perhaps you’ll have a newfound appreciation for it.