How Art Can Make Us Happy

Multiple studies reveal that art can really make you happier no matter if you are creating your own art or appreciating and enjoying someone else’s. Why is art magical? In this article, we are going to discuss why being creative and enjoying art can improve your outlook and provide scientific evidence that proves the link between creativity and happiness.

When most people think of artists, they usually imagine broody, egocentric characters that are attached to a wine bottle and don’t care much about their family members.  So it can be really surprising to learn that an interest in art and creativity goes together with feelings of well-being and optimism. It turns out that when practicing art in a variety of forms: playing music, dancing, creating visual arts, etc. we can benefit in a number of ways and even appreciating arts can do wonders for the spectators. Read on to learn more about it.

Benefits of Creativity and Appreciation of Visual Art

What is creativity? There is no exact definition of it but most experts think that it has something to do with the ability to find new ideas, links between the ideas or novel solutions to different problems. All people can be creative but different people may have different talents. Being creative means making fantastic meals, tap-dancing for a Broadway audience, writing brilliant essays on the best essay writing service,  generating a business plan, and doing a lot of other things. Scientists think that there is a strong connection between overall well-being and creative expression because perseverance and novelty-seeking that are the key components of any creative personality, can predict life satisfaction. Psychologists suggest that creative people are usually happier than those who think of art as “unimportant” or “intimidating”

Studies reveal that creativity can make you happier because it has a variety of effects on health and well-being:

  • It reduces stress and makes you more resilient and mindful
  • It builds self-esteem and makes you being proud of your skills and achievements
  • It distracts from other worries and helps us focus on the moment
  • It creates a healthy state of mind and can help delay aging
  • It clarifies your problem-solving abilities
  • It helps cope with some chronic illnesses

Why are art and creativity so beneficial? Some scientists explain this connection with a concept of “flow”. When we get immersed in a creative work, we do not pay attention to how we look or feel, what time it is or anything else, and forget about being tired or hungry.  The state of flow usually happens when we are engaged in a rewarding activity that matches our skills and we do not feel bored or overwhelmed and can get feedback about our work. These experts suggest that being in a state of flow can produce substantial happiness which lasts longer than the pleasure we feel when eating chocolate. Scientists have found that we achieve these flow states when we practicing art. Moreover, some psychologists suggest that doing something creative can even help to overcome depression.

Appreciation of art can be beneficial as well. A study conducted by the University of Western Australia proved that participating in the arts or enjoying it for just 2 hours a week can result in a positive effect on our overall wellness and mental health.

Some studies revealed that people who took part in the community arts programs reported an increase of their self-esteem levels and overall wellness. According to an article published in the American Journal of Public Health, involvement in the arts can reduce negative emotions, depression, and stress and even help people who suffer from grief.

A study conducted by Semir Zeki, a professor at University College London, showed that looking at beautiful paintings can produce the same psychological effect as the experience of being in love. When scanning brains’ reactions of people who were looking at works of art, it was found that this activity resulted in increased levels of dopamine and stimulated activity in the brain frontal cortex.

Art can change our lives, be used as therapy, and make us happy although the latter cannot be guaranteed. But developing an appreciation for art may help you discover a better version of yourself – expressive, contemplative, and reflective.

 

Published by Arina Smith