Believe it or not, art can be used as a form of therapy. Art therapy sessions, which are typically done in groups, can be helpful for your mental health, particularly if you are suffering from depression. A key example of art therapy in practise can be seen through the ‘Arts and Minds’ charity in the UK, who run weekly art therapy sessions for those suffering from depression and anxiety. Due to these workshops, 76% of participants feel that their well-being has increased. But how can art actually help your mental health? Well, here are three ways that art can impact your mental wellbeing and brain health!
1. Emotional Expression
Often, people who suffer from a mental illness find it difficult to convey their feelings through words. In fact, studies of the brain highlight that after going through trauma, the Broca’s of the brain can shut down. This is the area of the brain which is responsible for speech and language, therefore it may prove to be difficult for some to convey their feelings. Art gives you another way to express your feelings and is particularly useful to describe feelings like sadness and anger, which people can find tricky to communicate.
Art is a form of expression and can help people relate to their experiences better. Drawing, painting, or any other form of art allows people to work through their experiences. Through reflection, you can understand what you have learned from your experiences and how that has developed you as a person. This can help you understand your strengths and be more positive about yourself. Moreover, art can help sort through feelings and thoughts in your subconscious. In a sense, it can act as a form of self-discovery.
3. Creating A Community
Going to art therapy integrates you into a group where you all share something in common, and therefore helps to create a sense of community. This is particularly beneficial for those suffering from loneliness or isolation, as it gives them the opportunity to interact with other people. This social interaction can often go a long way for those facing a mental illness. In fact, social isolation can put seniors at a higher risk for cognitive decline and memory loss - so get out in the community and put your creativity to work.