Art and Mental Health

Did you know you can sell all or a portion of a life insurance policy, even term insurance?

(4 Minute Read)

Art often reminds us that the world is indeed beautiful. Maybe it’s the use of colors, the subject matter of a piece, or just artists’ ability to capture the significance and subtleties of our reality. Whatever the reason, did you know having art in your life is a great way to boost and better mental health? Yes, and it turns out this is especially true for the elderly. Both viewing and creating artistic works can improve wellness and happiness levels. Let’s take a look at how painting, drawing, and sculpture can lead to improved mental states.

How Viewing Art Impacts Your Mental Health

Taking a trip to a local art museum or exhibit can do a lot to improve one’s general mood and outlook. In a recent study published by Norway researchers, findings showed a real, positive connection between participating in cultural activities and overall health, feelings of happiness with one’s life, and even lower rates of anxiety and depression. In fact, individuals who reported engaging in four or more art-related activities had a greater sense of satisfaction in their day-to-day life.

But how exactly does it work? A study by the University of Arkansas found that viewing art increases levels of empathy and critical thinking. It also strengthens individuals’ ability to learn and retain information, as well as gives audience members a better understanding of historical context and a more in-depth connection to tolerance. When we take the time to view art, the basic black-and-white approach to life melts away. This moment provides a chance to think with an open mind and experience a range of emotions. Sometimes a simple painting can trigger everything from joy and elation to somber reflection or even sadness. Whatever feeling you get from interacting with art, doing so can clearly help to better define and relate to your own thoughts on the world. Even if you don’t live in an area with a thriving art scene or museum, public events and showings can be found by checking with a local arts or city organization.

Making Art on Your Own

Sometimes after looking at great art, we get the feeling of inspiration to step behind the paintbrush and make some of our own. However, for anyone without much experience, the call can be daunting. While you may not be Picasso, you don’t have to be! Just getting started playing around with watercolors or pastels can be a great introduction to the practice. Not only is it a great way to express yourself, engaging in art has measurable health benefits. One study found that older adults who didn’t create or experience art had the sharpest declines in cognitive performance. On the flipside, however, another study by Gene Cohen, MD, PhD, director of the Center on Aging, Health & Humanities at George Washington University revealed that seniors who give making art a try had better cognitive function, less depression and anxiety, more confidence, and a better overall sense of self. If you’re unsure where to start, consider taking a class or checking YouTube for art lessons.

The Benefits of Art Therapy

Art therapy is generally an open space for seniors to create with the gentle guidance of a professional or trained artist. These experts use group activities, collaborative projects, and one-on-one coaching sessions to help patients learn about art techniques and self-expression. The sessions are performed at places like hospitals, retirement communities, schools, crisis centers, and veteran homes. Art therapy is open to all practices and mediums, meaning artistic approach could include painting, sketching, sculpture, collages, or mixed media practices.

Art therapy is used for individuals to express their feelings. While it may not always be easy for us to tell others how we feel, art therapy provides an opportunity to define our sentiments and emotions. Recent studies of hospitalized patients have shown that engaging in art therapy improved feelings of comfort, while also boosting socialization, mood, and cognitive function.

Whether you’re taking a trip to a local museum, attending an art therapy class, or just doing some projects on your own, surrounding yourself with art is a great way to strengthen mental health in the golden years.

Did you know you can sell all or a portion of a life insurance policy, even term insurance? Selling an unwanted life insurance policy is no different than selling your car, home or any other valuable asset that will create immediate cash. Contact us today to learn more.

Leo LaGrotte
Life Settlement Advisors
llagrotte@lsa-llc.com
1-888-849-0887

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