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Artistic Expression for Wellness: How Creative Activities Boost Mental Health

About 75 percent of Americans experience physical or psychological symptoms of stress in any given month. If you're among those suffering from stress and anxiety, creative activities are a great way to get back on track.

There are some great links between creative arts and mental health that can help relieve stress. Read on to learn why these activities can help you thrive.

Relieving Stress and Anxiety

Health problems like exhaustion, anxiety, burnout, and weakened immune function are intimately linked to stress. An assessment of 37 studies showed that 81 percent of researchers found a significant reduction of stress levels in patients who regularly engaged in art therapy. 

This finding means that art therapy may be a great way to combat stress. This is especially true when you engage in artistic activities for 20 minutes or longer. The mindfulness needed while practicing art therapy drives introspection and regulates emotions through self-expression.

Healing From Pain

If you've ever heard of art therapy, you likely know that neuroscientists believe that creativity has healing properties. This is unequivocally true as many studies show that art can promote both physical and mental healing from trauma.

Engaging in hobbies like drawing, painting, crafting, and even cooking connects the mind and body more intimately to ground you in the present. It's a therapeutic tool that allows people to express themselves and rework neural pathways.

Art may even go a step further and decrease the symptoms of those with PTSD. A 2018 study suggested that art therapy may help with sensory memory integration for people with PTSD. This decreases the likelihood that they will re-experience traumatic events and contend with the hyperawareness that comes with the condition.

Boosting Self-Esteem

Artistic self-care activities can also greatly boost your self-esteem. Studies show that 45 minutes in an art studio helps people feel more able to deal with sudden and unexpected events. Participants also reported that they were more confident in their problem-solving abilities when they left the studio.

This makes sense since those engaging in art are actively creating something. Whether you enjoy knitting or using modeling clay, you're directly making a tangible thing that you can point to as an accomplishment. This is also true for creative hobbies like music since you can feel accomplished when the output expresses your emotions.

Easing Loneliness

Art for self-care and mental health isn't always a solo activity. There are plenty of writing groups, crochet circles, and cooking clubs where you can meet others with similar hobbies. This is a great way to make new friends and engage with others!

You can also meet people with similar interests because of your creative pursuits. Fashion and upcycling are underrated types of art.

They're a great way to help people get to know you. The same goes for painters who take their work to art shows and writers who publish stories online.

Pick Up Creative Activities Today

Now that you know how creative activities can bolster mental health, it's time to begin picking up new and exciting hobbies. Heal Nourish Grow is committed to providing you with information that can help you choose a creative hobby that lets you engage in self-care every day. Contact us to learn more about this process and to learn what products from our shop can help you feel amazing.