Angela Braden has researched and reported on wellness and lifestyle for a decade. She has been published hundreds of times in national and international magazines. Angela serves as a speaker for Alive! Expo (health convention) and as the Editor and Founder of www.angelicindulgence.com web magazine, where you’ll find more indulgent health tips and articles updated monthly.
Stressed? Makeover your Mindset with Art Therapy
As I continue to share ways to indulge in life in healthy ways that reduce stress, encourage relaxation, and promote well-being, art appreciation comes front and center. Whether it’s painting, photography, poetry or even just browsing an online gallery, carving out time for art and creativity is physically and literally healthy! This is because feeling good (naturally) is actually good for us. The arts and art itself is one of many healthy indulgences that literally promotes that feel good/do good body chemistry. Creative expression and even simply experiencing fine art has been scientifically shown to increase immunity and promote relaxation and joy as it brings more meaning to life—all good things that help us thrive physically as well as emotionally.
Artist, art therapist, and arts in healthcare advocate, Cam Busch explains, “A physiological process occurs as a result of interacting with the arts. Pain and discomfort are lessened and endorphins are released.” Hospitals are even using the arts and art therapy to treat cancer patients. Imagine the implications for a simple mid-life crisis!
What does "creativity" mean to you? It could be writing a short story or just sculpting Playdough. Perhaps your indulgence is designing a room; dancing around that room or throwing the perfect cocktail party. It matters not what does it for you, but rather that you do it. If you have no idea where to start, sign up for a class you think you might enjoy and don’t give up if your first attempt doesn’t work out—indulge in the journey. Try a local pottery studio or a painting studio like Color Me Mine with your kids. Discover what creative work/play makes you feel in the zone and embrace that activity often. Make time for it. That good feeling is making you healthier and happier, so it’s worth the effort and time. Creative work also forges links between you and your world in meaningful ways and helps shape how you experience it.
If you have a dream you’ve never explored, find small steps that lead to big steps and follow through. Whatever your creative heart’s desire, indulge it, and reap the health benefits.
Surrounding yourself with meaningful art itself is also nurturing and relaxing. Online galleries take the intimidation factor out of the art buying experience and bring more pieces and styles to the comfort of your pc, saving time and money. Gretchen Lennon, founder of OneArtSource.com advises the new art buyer to simply “buy what you love. Don’t worry about trends or matching styles. It’s all about how the piece makes you feel,” she says.
Whether you choose art that speaks to you or create it yourself, research has shown that art is valuable therapy—even if it’s just for that mid-work-week burn out.
Stay well (and creative),
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*Opinions expressed are solely those of the writer