Art & Mental Wellbeing
August 13, 2020
When you talk about art or creativity, people’s response is often that they can’t draw, or that they just aren’t good at being creative. At its simplest, creativity is using original ideas to invent something (physical or otherwise) – if you open a dictionary, pick a word and think of everything you associate with it – that is creativity at its core. This is an activity called free association (often used in psychology and therapy to learn about how a person processes information).
We often provide children with opportunities to be creative (both in school and outside of it), and when given the opportunity, we love to do it ourselves – adult colouring books were first successful around 2013 and began rising in popularity from 2015. So, why do we love it so much?
Creative activities can:
- Boost social inclusion and facilitate a sense of belonging.
- Improve mental wellbeing.
- Help reduce physical symptoms and improve physical health.
- Improve self confidence and self-esteem.
- Build resilience.
- Help develop fine motor skills and vision.
- Create focus and aid brain development and learning.
- Promote a sense of agency.
Art and creativity aren’t just painting and drawing. You can get involved by creative writing, scrapbooking, singing, dancing, acting, playing – anything that means you are inspired and that makes you feel good (even just watching or listening provides these benefits). Creativity allows us to express ourselves without judgement. Given all these benefits, why not try and incorporate more of these activities in your day-to-day? Change up your habitual patterns, spend more time outside, or try a different hobby (or start up an old one!).