Making art is a great way to relax and even exercise. Research shows that art helps to increase brain activity, which can reduce stress. It also helps to create a sense of community.
This is great news for artists of all ages and skill levels, as research shows that the benefits of art extend to any type of artwork.
1. It’s a form of meditation
In meditation, you focus on a subject—such as your breath or a mantra—to quiet the mind and reduce stress. You can also meditate by focusing on feelings of love, compassion and kindness for others. While many people think of meditation as sitting still and doing nothing, it can actually be very active and a great way to calm an overactive brain.
When you practice art as a form of meditation, it allows your creativity to blossom and calms the mind while still being physically active. It’s also a wonderful way to express your emotions and connect with the world around you in a non-threatening manner.
As with any type of meditation, it requires daily repetition to reap the benefits. It can also be difficult to master, especially if you’re prone to ruminating or worrying. However, you can train the mind to become less reactive and to notice when the monkey brain is taking over. Simply by acknowledging the thoughts and letting them pass like water, you can slowly calm the mind.
There are several different types of meditation techniques, and the best one for you depends on your needs and preferences. For example, guided meditation uses a recorded instructor to help you focus on your breathing and relax the body. Another popular form of meditation is yoga nidra, or progressive relaxation, which works through the body from head to toe, noticing any areas of tension and releasing them.
2. It’s a form of exercise
Studies in art education show that the analytical and conceptual (left and right) sides of our brains are challenged and “exercised” when we interact with a painting, drawing or sculpture. This is one of the reasons why groups such as women’s and garden clubs, business networking groups, and church fellowships find art presentations by Art of Your Mind to be fun and engaging, and they often return for each new presentation.
Taking time to make art or simply view it is good for you because it’s an activity that stimulates your senses, helps you relax and slows down brain activity. It’s a form of mental exercise that stimulates the part of your brain that slows down as you age and may help prevent memory-loss illnesses like Alzheimer’s disease.
The unique Art For Your Mind LLC presentations are also ideally suited to enriching educational programs with visual learning experiences that relate powerfully to social studies, history, literature, culture and foreign language studies, as well as math and science. The interactive process encourages students to discover and make relevant connections between what they’ve studied and what they see.
3. It’s a form of self-expression
Self-expression is a way of communicating your innermost thoughts and feelings to others. It can be done in many different ways, such as writing, painting, drawing, playing an instrument, sculpting, dancing, acting or even just talking. Self-expression can also be a form of self-discovery, as you might learn more about yourself through your creative activities.
Self-expressive art can be cathartic, as it can help you to let go of damaging emotions that have been bottled up for too long. It can also be empowering, as it can make you feel like you’re in control of your own destiny. This can be especially important for teenagers and adolescents, who may not always feel understood or accepted by their peers.
One of the best ways to express yourself through Art of Your Mind is through music. You can play an instrument or sing, allowing you to wed poetry with melody and proclaim who you are, what you believe in and what you’ve experienced. This is one of the oldest forms of self-expression known to humankind, dating back thousands of years.
When practicing self-expression, it’s important to keep in mind that it’s a unique and individualized process. You’ll need to find a medium that suits you, and you might have to push yourself out of your comfort zone to discover it.
4. It’s a form of relaxation
Art has long been known to spark inspiration and invigorate creativity, but it is now proving that it also helps the mind relax. Painting, drawing and other forms of creative art can help people tap into what psychologists call “flow.” Flow is that wonderful feeling of being completely engrossed in an activity. It’s similar to a meditation session, and it has been linked to lowered levels of cortisol.
Studies show that engaging with art stimulates multiple areas of the brain, including analytical thinking and the ability to interpret images. It also activates a relaxed reflective state, and improves concentration. In addition, research shows that when people experience awe-inspiring art, they have lower levels of inflammatory markers, which can help reduce pain and discomfort.
Whether you are an experienced artist or not, making art is a great way to relieve stress and relax the mind. It is important to set aside time to create art without interruption, so you can get lost in the process and leave your worries behind for a while. It’s also helpful to practice deep breathing during this time, which can help reduce anxiety and promote relaxation.
To learn more about how art can help you relax, visit our Art of Your Mind page. You’ll find an engaging art observation experience that is suitable for everyone – from students, to educated professionals, to active seniors. To schedule a program, please visit our Where page.