In 2010 The American Journal of Public Health published an interesting review of various studies that have been conducted on the effects of visual arts, expressive writing, and music movement on physical health.
Expressing yourself in artistic, musical or written ways can have a positive effect on your body, mind and social well-being. These activities can reduce stress and depression. The effects have been helpful in cancer battles and minimizing menopausal symptoms in women.
Your brain loves to create and the rewards are evident:
Creating art (painting, drawing, pottery, building, sewing, etc.) has been shown to release emotions often difficult to put into words.
Dance, or what scientists like to call movement expression, releases the mind to concentrate on nonverbal communication.
Music can calm brain activity and help restore the effective function of the immune system. This is especially helpful to cancer, HIV, and heart patients.
Expressive writing influences the immune system, stress hormones, blood pressure, and cognitive brain functions.
Medicine is taking notice. “Arts in Medicine” programs are being established across the country by Doctors and in hospitals. Why not start your own program? Don’t worry that you are not an artist or musician, just create something. Go to the local hobby store and buy a kit that looks fun. Start writing a journal. Play your favorite music and shake a groove. Look for more ideas in future posts. Until then, be creative! Your brain and your body will thank you.