Creating or observing art, whether it’s music, painting, writing, dance or something else, can significantly contribute to your psychological well-being. Creating fine art paintings or visiting art events will not be greatest source of happiness in one’s life, but it has the power to make you happier. Art can also be a healing force for people with mental disorders, including people with dementia, and lastly, it can contribute to the psychological well-being of people regardless of whether they have a mental disease or not. Learn how can art improve your mental health.
How Can Art Improve Your Mental Health?
Martin Seligman, the father of positive psychology, claims that there are five critical elements of psychological well-being – engagement, accomplishment, positive relationship, positive emotion, and meaning. It’s very interesting that art can provide you with all of the mentioned five elements.
Engagement: Creating art requires dedication and involvement, and quite often, the process of creating artwork is so enjoying, that the creator completely immerses himself in it. Being engaged in art means you can spend hours playing, writing, painting, dancing and similar. Time almost seems to disappear.
Accomplishment: Once you complete your work, you will achieve a sense of accomplishment because you have created something beautiful. That feeling will become more intense as you progress and improve your creative skills. Most of the time spent working on art is not about practice, but more about creative discovery.
Positive Relationships: Although practice is important for building skills, connecting yourself with other artists, yourself and with your audiences is much more vital. Art allows you to connect with yourself and others without words and on a deeper level. Feeling connected with yourself is also important, maybe even more than feeling connected with your family, community, and work.
Positive Emotions: Art also helps you to relieve negative emotions in a very healthy and safe way. For example, the creative process can help you reach into unconscious parts of the mind and experience feelings, and dimensions of self you didn’t even know were there. If you have troubles defining your feelings, art can help you to articulate it visually. Through art, you can even discover or shape your own identity. Art is not just about self-expression but also self-creation.
Meaning: Arthur Danto, a philosopher, and art critic believes art has a transcendent capacity, and that every artwork has connotations that go far beyond the surface of the artistic product. Every artwork conveys significance beyond their visual surface and appearance.
How Can Art Make You Happier?
The main contribution art makes to your health, wellbeing, and life is providing enjoyment, immersion, development of skills, expression and revelation of emotions, shaping of identity, connections with other people and much more. Simply put, art has everything it takes to make you not only a healthier but also a much happier person. This applies both to people without mental disorders and those with mental disorders. Art can teach you how to build satisfying lives for yourself, and how to appreciate the little things in life.