Creating and expressing yourself is an ability that is innate to the human experience, which is why having an art has several benefits that are good for your overall health.
Medical advisor Martha Isabel Parra, psychologist
Achieving a balance between your mind and body can be reached through habits such as healthy eating and playing sports. Art also has a positive impact on people’s qualities of life, as it increases people’s levels of creativity, improves their physical and mental activity and serves as a means to express different emotions, therefore giving it a therapeutic role. As Marta Isabel Parra explains, “Humans have the ability to transform the world. With materials such as clay you can create different shapes, and with wood, you can design with it to build furniture or a house. This is why doing art is a condition that is innate to us.” Parra is a psychologist and therapist at EmocionArte, an art therapy center.
Whether it is painting a canvas, harmonizing chords when playing an instrument, moving through dance, using a color palette to paint or decorate a space, or on stage at a theater, these activities connect individuals with their creative instincts, which transforms into feelings of wellbeing and harmony. Art can also be found in a person’s daily life, “When we cook, we resolve problems or we try to do things in a different way, aligning ourselves with our natural creativity,” Parra states. Art is a part of all stages of life and all people have the talent or ability to practice it.
Creativity and fantasy in childhood
In their first seven years of life, children are 100% creative, “This is why art must not only be introduced as an activity, but should be part of their daily lives. Fantasy is part of their reality and should be encouraged in them to contribute to their physical and integral development,” María Isabel Parra states. Painting, body language or theater, for example, improve self-esteem and give them different tools for expressing their emotions. In addition, as children learn about the rhythm of musical notes, music education is beneficial to understanding numbers and math exercises. The psychologist recommends that parents read their children stories at home in a playful way, inviting them to interact with household items such as pillows, blankets or chairs to use the notion of fantasy in a positive way.
Different expressions in teen years
Teens are in a stage in which they began to search for their identity. Generally, they are quiet and keep their distance from adults. “The arts can motivate them to express their feelings. With music, for example, when they play an instrument, sing or are part of a band with a group of friends, they can release negative emotions such as fear or frustration, or positive emotions such as happiness. When they create a melody or work of art, they are giving their personal signature and taking on a physical and mental discipline that contributes to their academic and personal development,” our psychologist states.
Get out of your adult routine
With the fast pace of work life, adults tend to believe that art is just for people who study it as a profession. However, “By choosing a profession, we choose something that we are passionate about, and therefore art is part of our daily lives,” our specialist adds. Art has to do with exploring and creating to get out of our routine and do things in a different way. Activities such as yoga, dance and theater help you clear your mind, release stress and allows you to let go of negative feelings. Try making a work of art out of your profession, complementing it with academic works and other activities that interest you in order to feel good about what you do and to search for new methods of being and creating.
Boost your self-esteem as you age
Something interesting happens with this population, “They become children again. When they connect with youth, they create very strong bonds that improve their self-esteem,” the specialist states. Activities such as knitting are very beneficial to people’s health, as in addition to clearing the mind, it improves concentration and is an art that encourages conversation. When knitting is a tradition, this knowledge can be passed down. It can also serve as recreational therapy and can improve your memory.
- Regardless of the artistic activity that you practice, the following are some of the benefits of art on people’s health:
- The body: Art helps you to develop exercises that improve your motor skills. Dance helps contribute to strengthening your muscles and joints.
- The mind: When you make, create, implement, observe and listen in order to create a work of art, you stimulate your imagination and cognitive functions. Art also improves your concentration, memory and fosters learning.
- Self-esteem: When a person feels they have created something, they increase their sense of confidence, connect with their emotions, feel a sense of worthiness and that they can make a difference.
- Emotions: Art allows for both negative and positive emotions to be expressed in an authentic way and also releases them in a healthy way.
See also: Your health and loving yourself