Benefits of arts and crafts
The love of creation has a surprisingly positive effect on your health.
If painting, sculpting, drawing, scrapbooking, or photography is your hobby, you are unconsciously promoting positive health while you are creating. There are more benefits to arts and diy crafts than just fun, from increasing self-esteem and brain productivity to even reducing the effects of serious health conditions.
6 benefits of arts and crafts
A study in the American Journal of Public Health entitled ‘The Connection Between Art, Healing and Public Health’ found that those who engaged in the arts experienced “reduced stress and anxiety” and “increased positive emotions”. When you are immersed in creating art, your mind is able to detach itself from distressing or distracting thoughts and truly focus on the task at hand. This creates a meditative state in which worries are momentarily forgotten, thereby lowering stress levels and creating mental clarity.
Seeing the end result of your creative endeavors provides a burst of self-esteem that lightens the mood by boosting the neurotransmitter dopamine. Known as the feel-good molecule, dopamine reduces feelings of depression and generates self-confidence. Creative endeavors have the ability to instill in the creator a sense of accomplishment, which naturally increases happiness.
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Learning about art and engaging in art has the ability to change the way you think and feel. A neurologist at University College London found that simply looking at art can provide pleasure and improve critical thinking skills. Professor Semir Zeki found that people who see or create art are more tolerant of others and also show more empathy.
Improve the quality of life for those who are sick
‘The Connection Between Art, Healing and Public Health’ also found that people with debilitating diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s showed “better medical outcomes” after creating art. The creative process reduces psychiatric symptoms and increases the patient’s pleasure and social behavior. Doctor Dr Arnold Bresky, who uses art therapy to treat Alzheimer’s patients, says his patient’s memory has improved 70% since engaging with art.
Increase brain productivity
The increase in dopamine caused by arts and homemade crafts increases the creation of new neurons, which promote focus, concentration, and prepare the brain for learning. By creating works of art, you strengthen the connectivity between the left and right hemispheres, thereby increasing psychological resilience and productivity.
Reduces the effects of serious health conditions
“Art fills in the gaps of work [and] distracted minds about illness,” according to ‘The Connection Between Art, Healing and Public Health’. Analyzing more than 100 studies on the effects of art on mental and physical health, researchers found that the media has many positive effects on those suffering from major health problems. The subjects studied experienced less stress, were able to express feelings more easily, and managed to maintain their former identity through art. Pediatric oncologist Dr. John Graham-Pole uses art to help patients and staff deal with the hospital. He said that “art is the social determinant of our health. It does not cure specific ailments, but it does benefit whatever is making you sick ”.
If you are already taking full advantage of the benefits of arts and crafts, you may want to unlock the health benefits of knitting.