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Drawing & Mental Health

Today I felt curious, and googled a bit on drawing & mental health. I thought sharing my findings might maybe motivate some of you to draw as well if you're new to drawing, or haven't had a lot of motivation recently :3

"Research by the WHO Regional Office for Europe has shown that the use of artistic media in health care can have lasting benefits for health outcomes. The arts can [...] also reduce stress, which help to prevent or slow the progression of a range of conditions including cardiovascular diseases and even some cancers. Creating and experiencing the arts can have profound effects for those affected by mental illness. [...]  the use of art to process emotion can be effective in treating depression and anxiety; and associated social interaction can be an effective way to prevent risk factors of mental illness including loneliness, discrimination and reduced social capital."


"[...] a lot of research in the medical field has actually suggested that art — and, more specifically, being creative — is, in fact, quite useful for our mental and physical well-being. [...] Drawing, painting, or molding objects from clay has been scientifically proven to help people to deal with different kinds of trauma. In a comprehensive article on The Connection Between Art, Healing, and Public Health, Heather L. Stuckey and Jeremy Nobel say that '[a]rt helps people express experiences that are too difficult to put into words, such as a diagnosis of cancer.' '[A]rtistic self-expression,' they continue, 'might contribute to maintenance or reconstruction of a positive identity.'"


"[...] there's evidence that making art can lower stress and anxiety. [...] The paper also showed that there were no differences in health outcomes between people who identify as experienced artists and people who don't."


"The rhythmic, repetitive movement of drawing helps calm the mind. 'It's similar to mindfulness and meditation, yet it's more tangible and visual,' explains art psychotherapist Karin Angstrom. 'Sitting down to meditate can be quite daunting, but drawing and doodling takes that pressure off. It calms the mind and helps us deal with the overwhelming world we live in.' Karin believes just 10 minutes a day is enough to see really positive effects."


"According to the study, drawing strengthens memory by perfectly integrating visual, semantic, and motor aspects of the memory trace. [...] A growing body of researchers underscores that there is a positive connection between the creative process of making art and our personal happiness. [...] Creating and appreciating art, both, lead to a reduction in the cortisol or the stress hormone levels. [...] In a study published in the National Center of Biotechnology Information, it was revealed that our control over emotional pain and depression is significantly enhanced by creativity."


"In all 4 areas of creative artistic expression reviewed here, there are clear indications that artistic engagement has significantly positive effects on health. [...] Despite methodological and other limitations, the studies included in our review appear to indicate that creative engagement can decrease anxiety, stress, and mood disturbances. It is not unreasonable to assume that future studies involving better methodology and more consistent assessment of outcomes will demonstrate the ability of creative engagement to improve psychological and physical well-being and quality of life. As can be seen from our analysis, it is likely that creative engagement contributes to many aspects of physiological and psychological conditions typically associated with improved health status."


"Drawing and sketching in particular have been connected with improved creativity, memory, and stress relief [...] According to research from the National Center of Biotechnology Information, drawing enables the ability to think in a different manner, encouraging open-ended thought and creativity. The personal development and problem-solving skills that emerge from uninterrupted sketching can be applied to everyday occurrences. These traits enable critical thinking skills, which can produce new insights and creative thoughts."


"The findings from Drake’s study came down firmly in one camp. 'You might assume that drawing works on mood by allowing people to express negative emotions and thus release them. This is the catharsis view of art,' Drake says. 'But we find something different: What works best for mood repair is distraction from negative emotions through drawing. This is consistent with the emotion regulation literature, which shows that getting people to think about something other than their negative emotions is more effective [than venting them].'"


"Studies have shown that expressing themselves through art can help people with depression, anxiety, or cancer, too."

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Added: 4 months, 1 week ago
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