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The Therapeutic Effects of Art
Jul 05, 2021
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Art is everywhere around us. Being a factor in creating things and how these things are made, anyone and everyone are able to appreciate art. It’s not only the beauty in things, it is also the beauty in processes and various mediums of expression.

Defined as the “diverse range of human activities that involve creative imagination to express technical proficiency, beauty, emotional or conceptual ideas.” Art has persisted throughout many millennia as a medium of expression for human wisdom and perception. As the Pulitzer awarded artist, Phylicia Rashad once said: “Before a child talks they sing. Before they write they draw. As soon as they stand they dance. Art is fundamental to human expression." That said, each and every one of us could be an artist.

Every human being has a brain that is divided into left and right hemispheres.

The left is the logical side while the right is the right hemisphere of our brain is the creative side. It is where all our creative juices, human intuition, thinking out of the box, and imagination is sparked.

It is a vital part of our brain that makes us capable of visualizing spaces, foreseeing results, and interpreting signs, and even our own reality. The right side of our brain makes us equipped to assess what is in front of us and think of ingenious strategies to resolve it. Depending on our chosen habits, one side could be more dominant and active than the other one.

It also supports our language capabilities. Most especially, choosing the correct or more appropriate terms to use, underlying meanings, and also the multiple implications of the terms used. Whether it be figures of speech or subtle meanings in courtesies, the right brain is capable of that. 

As it is generally known, clarity of speech and excellent communication skills determines a person’s success most especially in interpersonal relationships and also with one’s respective careers. Similar to visual acuity which processes the relative distance of objects, language capability allows a person to broaden their perceptiveness in social settings.

Art has a lot of functions which may be the reason why it has been in existence for as long as humanity has.

As a medium that expresses most of the aspects of our humanity, it could be something we intend to do to make a stand or something that is in our innate nature, which then is needed to be accomplished. Albert Maslow, an American psychologist, and originator of Maslow's hierarchy of needs said it best:

 “A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write if he is to be ultimately at peace with himself. What a man can be, he must be. This weed we call self-actualization, it refers to man’s desire for self-fulfillment, namely to the tendency for him to actually become what he is potentially: to become everything one is capable of becoming.”

There is a meditative attribute in Art that is very healing externally and mostly internally.

It connects us deeply with our humanity and our soul. A study from Queen’s University in Canada states that an average person has 6,000 thoughts each and every day. Apart from that, it is the same thing we think about around 90% of the time. Probably more so if a person is a perfectionist or suffers from severe anxiety. 

However, while doing a creative endeavor it captures our focus and lulls your mind into entering a creative zone which makes a person complete the task without too much hitch. At that moment, your brain pushes your worries, stress, and negative emotions towards the lull of creativity and self-fulfillment.

Art also affects our brain in more ways than we realize and this has been scientifically proven.

The brain builds connections within and it changes with one’s habits and lifestyle in a lifetime. Every activity, every analysis, or complex activity we do affects our brain’s plasticity, also called neuroplasticity. 

This is the brain’s capacity to keep developing and evolving through experience. As the name may have implied, plasticity is the capability to be stretched, changed, and molded. With appreciating art and creating art, we mold and develop our brain so that it keeps its ability to retain information, absorb it and easily recover from injuries.

Therapy through art is also making a lot of positive changes for people who suffer from Post Traumatic Disorder or PTSD especially veterans, elderly patients with Alzheimer’s disease, and other types of injuries and illnesses. This type of therapy helps a person better understand what they feel, how they react to certain cues, and how they behave towards something. By understanding how things are, these patients can move past certain experiences or illnesses and then resolve any other deeper issues that may have caused it.

With the use of sketching, painting, coloring, collage making, sculpting, or any other at form, an art therapist can help the patient decode meaning, metaphors, symbols, and subtle cues found in their art. Even children, adolescents, and adults can also benefit from art therapy. It can relieve stress, manage their emotions, improve depression or anxiety, manage and heal addiction.

While it is good to do art while in therapy, you might also want to consider making art at home. As you create more, be instructed more whether by a teacher or a tutorial you gain and improve on a new skill. That is why it might be a good idea to have a small space in your house dedicated to making art. At FlexiSpot,  there are products designed for innate health benefits and the convenience of well thought of utility. The Height Adjustable Drafting Table ED1B is a tiltable tabletop that helps you with your posture while making art and drawers where you can store away your art supplies. 

It has an expandable drop leaf design so you can make it bigger and wider as you need. It is a very versatile piece where you can do more than just drafting. You could work, paint, draw, watch videos on your iPad and read. Truly a wonderful piece of furniture to be creative and heal with.