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Can Art Help Improve Mental Health?

Creating Art Can Often Help Improve Your Overall Mental Health

Far too many people think of art as superfluous and overlook it both as a personal pastime and a therapeutic option. Art therapy has been available in clinical settings since the 1940s, and there are many skilled professionals who devote their careers to this form of therapy. It offers a host of benefits to participants, including reduced stress, improved communication skills, the ability to cope with difficult life experiences, better understanding of their feelings and even decreased visits to the doctor. People struggling with a wide range of mental health conditions may find that they benefit substantially from a long-term commitment to art therapy.

Art Helps You Explore Your Deepest Feelings and Emotions

One of the reasons people struggle with their mental health is often that they have trouble identifying and processing their own emotions. Whether this is due to suppressed trauma or as a coping mechanism to get through your day at work, ignoring your emotions has become a commonplace practice. Of course, when people go without addressing their deepest feelings, they may find that they develop other symptoms and conditions over time. A recent study published in the UK found that one art program saw a drop in doctor consultations among participants that was roughly 30% lower than those not engaging in art therapy. Hospital admissions in the same group were 27% lower.

Art Provides an Outlet for Difficult Experiences

For people struggling with mental health issues, there are often life experiences that contribute to their symptoms. Childhood abuse, trauma as an adult, and even the diagnosis of a deadly condition can all lead to deteriorating mental health. Art therapy offers people the opportunity to produce something beautiful or moving from a difficult experience. Even those facing a terminal illness may find that art therapy can help them accept their prognosis and plan for their final days with less stress and emotional suffering.

Art Can Improve Your Self-Esteem

Low self-esteem can contribute to mental health issues in many different people. Developing self-esteem is not a simple process, and it is one that takes dedication and time. Patients struggling with low self-esteem may find that creating art regularly, expressing themselves, and improving their skills over time can offer a healthy basis for improved self-esteem.

Art therapy can do more than just let people express themselves. It can help them address underlying issues, decrease stress, improve the symptoms of depression, and otherwise lead a healthier and more fulfilling life. Many people could potentially benefit from art therapy with the support of the right professionals.

Jane Sandwood

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