The process of creating art can cause a 10% increase in blood flow to our brains which is a similar body reaction to when we fall in love. So when we are creating art we naturally love life!
Making art is also anti-aging and supports healthy living. It helps to reduce stress, anxiety and even depression. Researchers at the US National Library of Medicine analyzed and reported on the findings of over 100 studies done on the effects of art on physical and psychological health.
They found that creative arts affected people in these positive ways:
- Creative pursuits gave them a sense of achievement
- Art helped them express their feelings
- Art reduced stress by lowering levels of the stress hormone
- Art let participants forget about their illness or troubles for a while, allowing them to focus on positive life experiences
- Creating art enabled them to focus on who they were before they got sick or stressed.
In New Zealand there are university qualifications that help professionals apply art therapy skills in a wide range of situations of general well being and sickness.
But you don’t have to suffer from an illness to gain the benefits of creating art. Making time in our lives for creating can help us just feel good and promote our well being too.
Other studies show adults may experience a measurable reduction in their stress levels after a 45-minute art making session. One study involved adults, ages 18 to 59, who were asked to make art of any type using a choice of collage materials, modeling clay and/or marker pens.
Nearly 75% of the participants had lower stress levels after art making than at the start of the session. Prior art experience did not seem to matter. In other words, it may be possible to experience a reduction in stress after making art, despite any in-experience with art materials or processes.
So, if your work/life balance is out of kilter and you need to re-balance, or you are feeling stressed or anxious, take a moment for yourself and doodle on a piece of paper or maybe start an artistic masterpiece! Spending a few minutes a day may be just what you need to fall back in love with life!