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Use Art to Relax

The Power of Art Will Help You Relax

Using Art to RelaxDid you know that art has a role to play in our relaxation? This link between art and healing was recently confirmed by a study at Chicago’s Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

The researchers of this recent study found that after cancer patients at the hospital made art, they were more likely to report lower levels of depression, anxiety, pain, shortness of breath and fatigue. As well, they were more likely to report having an appetite and the positive feeling of well-being.

Traditional healers would be nodding at these findings, given that they have been supporting this concept for centuries. So, how exactly does art relax you?

Making art alters the individual’s state of mind and emotions. The creative process is a relaxing one that encourages positivity and hopefulness, as well as inspiring the person making the art piece. The inspiration triggers hormones and neurotransmitters, which explains why the cancer patients in Chicago reported lower pain levels.

The concept of art as a healing tool has potentially profound implications. Art could be introduced into more hospitals and clinics, as well as senior homes, as an activity for patients there. Art would, in these instances, be a means of relaxation.

Examples of artworks to create could be murals, paintings and sculptures. Aside from these traditional types of art, there are many others to consider. For example, dance is an art form that can immerse the body, mind and spirit, as the body steps within learned routines.

Gardening is a relaxing activity, as well. The gardener is in a restful state while weeding and hoeing, running fingers through the dirt, and creating beauty by planting flowers, vegetables or trees.

More art to create to help you relax are journaling, storytelling, scrapbooking, woodworking and music. Include the art forms that most appeal to you in your routine to encourage your body and mind to relax. You are creating something meaningful with art and practicing effective stress management too.

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