5 Surprising Benefits of Art Therapy
Art therapy is a discipline that allows you to be creatively expressive through a visual art media platform. There is a strong belief that art therapy can foster mental well-being and healing.
However, with so many self-help and self-care techniques, it’s not always easy to know which one will produce the most benefits. If you’re not yet convinced that art therapy is something that can assist you on your journey to well-being, some of the points below may change your mind.
Boost Your Self Esteem
In some of the latest studies on self-esteem in women, at least half of survey participants had low self-esteem, down from just 25% in 2010. If you believe your self-esteem has taken a hit in recent years, art therapy for women may be something you consider to give you the boost you need.
The process of creating art with an art therapist may give you feelings of accomplishment, which can increase how much appreciation you have for yourself while increasing your confidence levels.
Provide Stress Relief
There are many different ways to reduce stress, such as meditation, yoga, exercise, and music, but art therapy may also be something you consider to provide some relief.
While simply focusing on anything other than your stress may make you believe you’re experiencing relief, something else happens while creating art. Studies have shown that patients with new creative outlets have increased dopamine levels. This neurotransmitter is traditionally low in people with stress, anxiety, and depression and higher in people who feel happiness.
Art therapy can also be more than just painting. You may experience relief in a wide range of art-related tasks, such as sculpting, ceramic and clay work, drawing, textiles, art journals, and collages.
Experience Emotional Release
It’s not always easy to know how to let your emotions out. You might bottle them up because you’re unsure how you’re supposed to express them. Many people who explore their options around art therapy experience emotional release. Painting or another art form may give you an avenue to release those complex emotions into the art you’re creating, such as anger, sadness, depression, and stress.
The potential mental health benefits of art therapy are generally well known, but what you may not realize is that there’s potential for you to experience reduced physical pain through this practice.
While art therapy doesn’t actively target the pain, it may assist with the medical management process by improving pain, mood, and anxiety in patients admitted to the hospital for acute hospital treatment. A study found that regardless of gender, age, and diagnosis, an art therapy session during hospital treatment was able to produce some positive results for patients.
Stimulated Mental Function
We don’t yet have a cure for dementia, but we do have therapies that provide some people with a wide range of benefits. Studies have shown that patients with dementia may benefit from art therapy to improve attention and orientation while also reducing their behavioral and psychological symptoms.
Art therapy is a wonderful option for many people to feel calm and relaxed while releasing their inner creativity. However, it may also provide more benefits than you might think. There’s every reason to believe that stress relief, reduced pain, a self-esteem boost, and emotional release can be experiences you have by putting a paintbrush to paper.