The following excerpts are from an article originally published on JamesClear.com
In 2010, the American Journal of Public Health published a review titled, The Connection Between Art, Healing, and Public Health.
In that article, researchers analyzed more than 100 studies about the impact of art on your health and your ability to heal yourself. The studies included everything from music and writing to dance and the visual arts.
As an example, here are the findings from five visual arts studies mentioned in that review (visual arts include things like painting, drawing, photography, pottery, and textiles). Each study examined more than 30 patients who were battling chronic illness and cancer.
Here’s how the researchers described the impact that visual art activities had on the patients…
- “Art filled occupational voids, distracted thoughts of illness”
- “Improved well-being by decreasing negative emotions and increasing positive ones”
- “Improved medical outcomes, trends toward reduced depression”
- “Reductions in stress and anxiety; increases in positive emotions”
- “Reductions in distress and negative emotions”
- “Improvements in flow and spontaneity, expression of grief, positive identity, and social networks”
The Benefits of Art Aren’t Merely “In Your Head”
The impact of art, music, and writing can be seen in your physical body as well. In fact, this study published in the Journal of Psychosomatic Medicine used writing as a treatment for HIV patients found that writing resulted in “improvements of CD4+ lymphocyte counts.”
That’s the fancy way of saying: the act of writing actually impacted the cells inside the patient’s body and improved their immune system.
In other words, the process of creating art doesn’t just make you feel better, it also creates real, physical changes inside your body.
For a pdf version of this newsletter, follow this link: Photos for Healing Newsletter #116- Jan. ’17