Arts and Creativity
Arts and creativity have a critical role to play in self-expression and self-awareness
This guidance will help you to facilitate participation and engagement in artistic and creative activities. Scroll down to read about the benefits of arts and creativity.
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Art and creativity can provide a workout for your mental wellbeing, much like exercise provides a workout for your physical health
Participating and engaging in artistic and creative activities can be rewarding, satisfying, calming and allow you to enter a state of psychological ‘flow’, in which worries and unwanted thoughts may subside and disappear.
Artistic and creative activities can support wellbeing by:
- Helping to maintain engagement with the surrounding world
- Encouraging learning, development and interaction throughout life
- Improving skills and increasing confidence
- Allowing a sense of success and accomplishment
- Maintaining interest and focus and therefore becoming more mindfully aware
- Inducing relaxation and lowering stress levels
- Providing pleasure and enjoyment
The arts are a critical component of healthcare. Expressive art is a tool to explore, develop and practice creativity as a means to wellness.
Art allows us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.
The term art is used here to describe something that we do. Art is an expression or communication of our thoughts, emotions, intuitions, and desires and is about sharing the way we experience the world. The ‘arts’ are the many and various mediums and forms by which we do this and include; painting, drama, pottery, play, cooking, design and film-making. Research has shown that arts can have a positive impact on our general health and wellbeing.
Creativity can be defined as the process whereby something new and valuable is formed. It involves a process of exploration and discovery and is a quality that develops more fully when the focus is on the process rather than on the outcome or finished product. Creativity can contribute to giving meaning and purpose to our lives and thereby enhance emotional and mental wellbeing.
Creativity has a central source of meaning in our lives ... most of the things that are interesting, important, and human are the results of creativity ... when we are involved in it, we feel that we are living more fully than during the rest of life.
With artistic and creative pursuits we can have freedom of expression and discovery and be unbound by rules and expectations. What is produced is not so important as submersion and full participation in the process, and allowing what will be to emerge. Taking this approach is key to reaping the wellbeing benefits of art and to it providing a means of self-expression.
Research evidence shows that art and creativity can enhance brain function and stimulate connections between various parts of the brain. These activities can impact on brain wave patterns and emotions, the nervous system, and raise ‘feel good’ hormone levels. In these ways, psychological and emotional resilience and resistance to stress can be increased.
Art is unquestionably one of the purest and highest elements in human happiness…. As the sun colours flowers, so does art colour life.
The arts give a voice to the voiceless.
Robert L. Lynch