Art is a powerful tool for your mental health. Whether you are coping with a serious illness or simply wish to live a happier and healthier life, art can help. While the benefits of art can vary depending on the individual, they often include stress reduction, improved memory and cognitive abilities, and reduced anxiety.
In a recent survey, researchers found that engaging in artistic activities can trigger a range of emotion regulation strategies. These strategies include the ability to create “flow,” the process of engaging in a task with complete focus. A slew of brain regions are activated when a person engages in a creative activity, including the hemispheres and the brain’s reward center, the putamen. A few studies have suggested that the most creative things to do might be those that engage both the hemispheres of the brain.
One of the most impressive achievements of a creative pursuit might be the creation of new neural pathways, which allow both hemispheres of the brain to work together. This type of activity also increases dopamine, a brain chemical known as the motivation molecule, which boosts concentration, drive, and resisting impulses. Dopamine is associated with feelings of happiness and is also involved in romantic love.
The brain is a wonderful art of your mind thing, and we can harness its power for good. Creating art is a great way to rewire the brain for better performance. This is particularly true for patients suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia, two conditions where damage to the brain’s neurons has been a major problem. In fact, some types of art, such as abstract painting, have long been cited as a potential treatment for the brain’s neurological woes.
As a result of creating art, the human brain undergoes a variety of beneficial changes, from enhanced cognitive functioning to increased self-esteem. As well as improving cognitive function, engaging in artistic pursuits reduces stress levels and provides a welcome respite from the everyday minutia of living.
Another intriguing effect of creative activity is the production of dopamine, the body’s natural antidepressant. This is particularly helpful for patients suffering from Alzheimer’s, a disease where the damage to the brain’s neural pathways accelerates.
One of the best ways to stimulate the brain’s reward system is through the creation of artwork. The human brain is hardwired for processing art, and as a result, a variety of regions are engaged when a person engages in a task related to producing an artistic masterpiece. For instance, a new study found that an aesthetically pleasing painting sparked a heightened awareness of the brain’s reward system. A fMRI study of 15 paintings conducted by neuroscientist Oshin Vartanian found that the process of recognizing a face and responding to it was a feat of brain science.
The latest survey from the American Psychological Association found that creating an art piece can actually improve your memory. Not only does this increase your cognitive skills, but it may also prevent you from developing Alzheimer’s.