I am super excited to share this fantastic guest post with you. Today, we have Kate from All The Trinkets talking about creating and the mental health benefits of doing art. Since it’s also National Craft Month, it only seemed right to talk a little about how being creative can have an amazing impact on your wellness. Who better to do it than this kickass female blogger on International Women’s Day?
As an avid lover of art since birth, I vouch for all the good things art has to offer. Heck, I genuinely believe that art is deeply intertwined with our lives. Every single aspect of it.
Cooking sunny side eggs in the morning? Art. Doodling lazily in class? Art. The traffic light at the intersection near your office? Obviously, art.
You can give me any mundane part of your life and I can tell you how it’s deeply connected with art. Every. Single. Aspect. And I don’t just mean the aesthetics and visuals that are often associated with art. Being able to appreciate something that was created, or heck, even actually creating something yourself is one of the core foundations of humanity.
So are there mental health benefits in engaging with arts-related activities? BIG YES. Let me count the ways:
1) Doing art stuff relieves stress
There have been numerous occasions when I’ve been overwhelmed and stressful with life and work. And being able to take time off to do a bit of artsy stuff just makes things better. Art is one of those natural stress relievers. You could just spend a bit of time doodling. I highly suggest you not overthink what you’re doodling. Our goal here is to relieve stress, not create a work at par with Michelangelo’s.
2) Art boosts self-esteem and self-confidence
You ever work on something and when you achieve it, you feel absolutely stoked? Like your Michael Phelps breaking the all-time record? You could feel that with art too.
The great thing about art, though, is that there often isn’t a concrete answer. The entire art process is flexible. You are bound to encounter problems on the way and you either fix things or go a different path if you like. And once you’re done, once you’ve finished your piece. You’d feel a sense of accomplishment. Trust me, I know.
3) It calms the mind and helps you focus
Did you know that an average person has more than 50,000 thoughts per day? Even more mind-blowing: more than 90% of these are the exact same things??? I know. Mind-blown.
Here’s how art can help with that. Art-related activities can help your brain be distracted from all the usual thoughts running through it every single day.
How, you ask?
Well, there’s this thing amongst creatives that we call, “flow.” If you’ve ever done anything creative like, say, blogging or painting or dancing, it’s very likely you’ve experienced this. It’s that moment when you’re doing a creative task and you’re deeply focused on it. Other people also call it “being in the zone”.
4) Doing art gives you happiness
This definitely relates to how doing art can give you a sense of accomplishment and boost your self-esteem.
When you accomplish something, you become happy.
But even during the process of creating something, you feel happy. I mean, who could ever draw SpongeBob, SquarePants or the Powerpuff Girls and feel upset or awful? Who would ever colour colouring books and not feel relaxed and blissful? It’s been found that doing art stimulates the release of dopamine or the happiness hormone.
5) Art boosts creativity
This may sound kinda roundabout but hear me out.
Art ignites this part in our brain that is arguably only found in humans. Creativity. It’s preeetty new in the human brain but it’s incredibly important. Creativity is key in our thriving as a species. From that time one of our early ancestors discovered fire to that dude (or possibly dudette, who knows) who created the first wheel to me writing this piece and you snapping that photo for the ‘gram. Our creativity has helped us flourish into the incredibly innovative creatures that we are now.
And art can ignite that!
Because doing art-related stuff can bring us “in the zone”, it’s stimulating our creative thinking. Doing art basically is sharpening the sword that is your creativity!
And yes, even the mindless doodle when you’re bored in class can boost your creativity. In fact, boredom has a deep correlation to creativity — but that is a topic for another day.
What’s profoundly amazing with engaging in the arts is that you don’t have to master them in order to reap its mental health benefits. Doing them, being completely present, is more than enough.
So who is Kate?
Kate is the smol child behind All the Trinkets, a blog about personal growth, wellness, and creative living. She genuinely believes that there are little seeds of creativity and awesomeness inside us — they just need a little TLC. When not blogging, you can find her painting pretty people and plants, or talking to her cactus, Watson.
Mental health and wellness is so important to me that I am really thrilled to share this great post with you. I’ve seen the benefits of art first hand, experiencing how it has improved my own mental health. It is something I am actively trying to do more of now, to maintain a higher level of wellness than I have had in the recent months.
I really do hope that it can do the same for you too, providing a bit of self-care and wellness into your life. Hopefully this article by Kate has inspired you to give it ago! Be sure to check her out, she has a lot of really motivational posts on this topic.
If you need other ways of adding self-care into your stationery habits, check out this post featuring Stationery Self-Care ideas.