Mental Health

How To Use Art To Improve Your Mental Health

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Art Therapy is gaining traction in Canada, especially as more people who enter the profession make as much as 55,000 Canadian dollars annually. Compared to other occupations, the figure might be low, but it shows that art significantly impacts mental health. Considering that 1 in 5 Canadians experience mental health issues, more people notice arts benefits and utilize them as much as possible. Have you wondered how art and your mental health are related? If not, discussed below is how this is possible. 

  1. Self-expression

Art aids self-expression, an area that people who experience mental health issues can make immense use of. Without words, people can communicate using colours and a few brushstrokes to create a picture of their feelings. According to art experts, it goes beyond skills and talents. Instead, it accurately presents the emotional state and mental processes of a person.

Usually, in Canada, persons experiencing mental health issues who receive clinical help are encouraged to express their emotions through painting. Indeed, whether you are dealing with a negative mental health situation or not, it is worth your time and effort to enroll in a painting course. You will have the opportunity to learn the fundamentals of painting and how this exciting activity can help your therapy.

  1. Mindfulness

Mindfulness is used to describe a situation of self-awareness. In mental health, mindfulness helps a person acknowledge their feelings and thoughts without it causing anguish. When done well, mindfulness can be beneficial to people’s emotional and physical well-being. What better way to do this than through art? According to the Vancouver Sun, art stimulates the creative part of the brain.

That means people who engage in art and creativity use more of the brain’s right hemisphere. This is important because the right side of the brain controls mood and emotions. At the same time, the right hemisphere is where depression and many other forms of mental health problems originate. In effect, engaging in arts suppresses negative emotions, giving way to mindfulness. When done right and consistently, psychologists say a person becomes more aware of their triggers, enabling more control. So now you know that mindfulness is not all about meditation and yoga.

  1. Forget pain through art

A 2019 Canadian Community Health survey revealed that persons experiencing mental health issues tend to experience chronic pain. The report further indicated that the pain experienced is due to increased cortisol, serotonin, and norepinephrine levels. These are three hormones mainly responsible for stress and controlling brain chemicals. Due to the increase in these hormones, persons living with mental health issues may perceive pain more than others without the condition. 

Fortunately, art induces endorphin production in the brain. It doesn’t matter what form of art a person is engaged in. The most important thing is that it is enjoyable enough to sustain endorphin production. It’s worth noting that endorphins help reduce stress, balance out brain chemicals and improve thought patterns in mental health patients. The significant impact art has on the brain is believed to help sufferers forget about the pain. Indeed, that is the overall objective.

To conclude, it helps to know that art is a significant component of mental health recovery that cannot be ignored. Therefore, the next time you have the opportunity to create art or enjoy them, know that it has immense benefits for your mental health.

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