Art expression: beyond the aesthetics is the ability to heal


The purpose of art is washing away the dust of daily life off our souls.

Pablo Picasso

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10)- People are moved by art. In its many forms, it has the ability to soothe or create an overall feeling of contentedness or anger. The history of humanity is speckled with multiple forms of creative expression from the beginning of the earliest civilizations.

For some, the power of art lays in the colors. What colors people prefer depends on their personality and how or what they associate specific colors with. The same color blue that instills feelings of calmness in one person can make another feel uncomfortable, says.

But there is also an abundance of research that supports the idea that creation of art and/or art therapy improves mental health. It’s been used to assist people struggling with addiction, depression, cancer, PTSD and eating disorders. It can also be used to reduce stress or anxiety, or increase self-esteem. Psychology Today says it can also help release information from the unconscious mind.

Painting in particular has been shown to be an effective treatment for depression in children undergoing treatment for cancer. A case study on the National Institute of Health’s website said children who participated in a 6 week painting program were significantly less depressed by the end of the program.

It’s undeniable that art has the ability to provoke feelings in people and can be used to treat a host of both physical and mental difficulties. But, what takes place in the brain when a person is creating art is another fascinating aspect because of the link between creativity and memory.

The Dana Foundation is continually studying the effects of art and creative thinking on brain health. Memory, creative thinking and imagination all activate the hippocampus. Their research suggests a direct correlation between creativity and the ability of people to remember.

Easy ways to exercise art creativity

  • Adult coloring books
  • Painting groups
  • Paint by number
  • DIY arts and crafts


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