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Mental Health and Art: How are they Connected?

Tanisha Tonpe | July 11, 2022


Art is something that comes in many forms. It can be a painting, a crochet project, or even a baked good. Due to this, it is also extremely inclusive. You never have to be the best at creating art, you just have to be proud of what you make. In fact, creating art can be extremely beneficial in regards to your mental health. 


It isn’t always easy to express what you are feeling with words. Art allows self expression through actions and products, rather than words. Take Beethoven’s 5th Symphony for example. You can feel emotions through the songs, even though it is not directly said. Guernica by Pablo Picasso is a powerful anti-war painting. Through both of these pieces, the artist is able to reveal their feelings that may struggle putting into words. This also allows others to view the art and understand some of what the artist is going through


Many people experience daily worries and anxieties. It is hard to take your mind off of these. Meditation can help, but it can be hard to focus. However, when creating art, it takes you full attention. Small worries and anxieties will fade away as you focus on the task at hand, the artwork. Coloring is a frequently used method for this. Adult coloring books have grown in popularity as they can take hours to complete, relieve stress, and result in a beautiful piece of art. 


 Maybe creating art isn’t for you. How can you get the same benefit as people who do make it? View others' art! Many recent studies have shown that visiting art galleries can reduce anxiety and depression. When you find a piece of art you find beautiful, dopamine is released in your brain. This chemical is related to desire, pleasure, and love. Similarly, listening to music also has a positive effect on your mental health. It can evoke happy memories and help you feel more connected. 


Overall, art is something that positively benefits everyone. No matter if you are creating or viewing it, the effect is undeniable. So pick up that paint brush and go to that concert. After all, it's not just fun, it can be life saving. 




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