3 Startling Effects of Art on the Brain

Neuroscience is an incredibly interesting and complex field. With the constant barrage of information entering our brains, we are somehow able to process items of interest amid all of the chaos of everyday life. Not surprisingly, the things we choose to look at can have very different effects on our brains. Recently, researchers have begun to investigate the effects that creating and viewing art have on the brain.

Art Relieves Stress

In a world where everyone seems to be hurrying and running constantly, stress is a common side effect. While a little stress can be harmless; constant, heavy stress can lead to serious health problems and a deteriorated mental sharpness. Finding ways to relieve your stress is almost a requirement for functioning in society.

While some people believe creating art should be left to the people who have “natural talent,” it is really an everyday practice that should be utilized by everyone. The act of creating art gives you a distraction from your stressful thoughts and can help you feel more calm. With the average person having over 60,000 thoughts a day, and 95% of them being a repeat, it is important to tune them out and just color for a bit!

Art Can Stave Off Mental Illness

While a release from stress is more than enough reason to indulge your artistic side, recent studies are now proving that creating art could actually stave off mental illness in old age. Because art works by stimulating the creative processes in the brain, it could actually help to create new connections between neurons. These new neurons are great for enhancing problem solving skills as well.

So what does this mean for mental health? Simply put, this creation of new neurons and boosted brain cells could slow the processes of dementia and Alzheimer’s. New art therapists are working with older patients who are getting into art for the first time and generating unprecedented growth within their brain. If you can get both hemispheres of your brain communicating better and firing off new neurons, you will not only feel better, but think better.

Art Improves Sense of Fulfillment

Every individual needs to feel a sense of fulfillment and accomplishment in their daily lives. When children paint a picture, their parents often hang it on the wall, helping boost their child’s self-confidence and giving them added self-worth. Unfortunately for adults, the average adult experiences very few of these moments of accomplishment in their personal and professional life.

Just because you have aged out of childhood, doesn’t mean you should stop experiencing a daily sense of accomplishment and fulfillment. For many adults, creating art gives you the same boost of self-esteem that children experience and should be pursued just as diligently.

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Melissa Thompson

Melissa is a mother of 2, lives in Utah, and writes for a multitude of sites. She is currently the EIC of HarcourtHealth.com and writes about health, wellness, and business topics.