Three Primary Health Benefits of Art

A World without Art is a Dead World

Have you ever stopped to think about what the world would be like if art wasn’t a thing?  If you’re like most people you immediately think something like, “Walls would be blank because there wouldn’t be pictures or paintings.”

But that’s not even scratching the surface.

There wouldn’t be music.  There wouldn’t be dancing.  There wouldn’t be poetry, fiction, or even color for that matter.  Our clothes would be utilitarian and that’s it, everything would be reduced to nothing more than the basic necessities to get the job done.  We wouldn’t even get a choice of fonts, as any stylistic elements would simply be non-existent.  Most adjectives would disappear.

A world without art wouldn’t be able to exist.  Which is why when school districts cut art from their program, they’re not saving money.  They’re slowly killing the world we live in.

Art is Good for your Brain

When you stop for a minute and create something beautiful, you aren’t just taking a relaxing moment out of your day.  You’re creating new pathways and strengthening your brainpower.

How it happens is still mostly a mystery.  But the results are clear.  One study found that kids that are exposed to art have improved critical thinking skills and an increase in psychological resilience (that is the mental and emotional ability to cope with crises).

Art is Good for Society

Karl Marx wrote that religion is the opiate of the masses.  Meaning that it’s an artificial means to make people feel good about life and placate them.

But many studies have found that art is far better for encouraging people to act civil toward each other and to feel good about life than religion is.  While the idea behind Marx’s statement is that it’s an artificial means, or a front, there’s more science behind the study of art showing there’s no artificiality in regards to the benefits of art.

Enjoying art is known to reduce stress, increase empathy, amplify emotions of love, ease difficult situations, and more.  When people have their own self under control, it ripples out to society as a whole.

Art is Good for your Mental Health

There are numerous studies that show a very strong correlation between enjoying (and creating) art and mental health.

Viewing (or consuming in the case of music) art helps to relieve mental exhaustion.

Creating art helps to release dopamine which improves focus, concentration, and overall just feeling good.  Creating art also helps with memory recall and self-esteem; two vitally important functions for many elderly citizens that are suffering cognitive decline.

TEDxBillings is Packed with Art

Our last event featured three musical artists.

Nearly every speaker had art in the presentation in some form or another; some even exemplifying the importance of art itself.

TEDx Billings is all about incorporating art into a world that needs art now more than ever.

On a personal level, are you struggling mentally?  Socially?  Is your mental health kind of “meh”?  When is the last time you created art?  It’s not a substitute for full-on mental healthcare if that’s what you truly need.  But it is a way to maintain a healthy brain, a healthy society, and a healthy mental state.