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The Benefits of Expressing Yourself Through Art

Senior couple painting in their home

Art can improve a person’s well-being by allowing them to express their ideas, emotions and perspectives through creative activities. It’s been widely recognized as a way to encourage personal growth, mindfulness and self-discovery. 

Read these incredible benefits of art for seniors, and see what happens when you draw on your emotions to celebrate your creative side. 

Reduce Stress in Just 45 Minutes

Researchers at Drexel University found that just 45 minutes of engaging in a creative activity can reduce your cortisol levels, which is a stress hormone. Even better, researchers also found all people, no matter their skill set, benefited equally from creating art. If you don’t have much experience with creative expression, experts recommend coloring or simply doodling.

Decrease Anxiety by Working Through Your Thoughts

Mindfulness is your ability to stay present in the moment and in tune with your thoughts and emotions. Creative processes like drawing, coloring or sculpting offer a chance for self-reflection and help stop looping unwanted thoughts associated with anxiety. To stay in the moment and truly experience the benefits of art for seniors, turn off the TV, mute your phone and find a quiet place that’s free of distractions. 

Improve Your Cognitive Health Creatively

Creating art enhances how the two hemispheres of your brain work together and help produce new neural pathways and stronger dendrites that allow you to think more efficiently. This can increase your resilience to age-related cognitive decline and help you better cope with the normal aging process. The best part is, you don’t have to be a whiz with the paintbrush to benefit. Storytelling, journaling, making a mood board or quilting all count as creative activities.

Regulate Your Emotions with Creative Expression

Being able to regulate your emotions is considered an important part of your mental health and one of the best benefits of art for seniors, because it shapes the way you adapt to the challenges of daily life. Creative activities can help you keep your emotions in check by giving a safe place to approach your negative feelings and take part in self-discovery.

Feel More Self-Confident

Remember how great it felt to be recognized for your artwork in school or how proud you felt when mom hung your masterpiece on the fridge? That feeling doesn’t disappear as you grow older. Your brain releases dopamine when you finish a project and admire it. This lowers feelings of depression and increases feelings of pride, which leads to improved self-confidence. 

Let Art Bring a Sense of Order to Your Life

Creative activities like writing songs, sculpting, needlework or woodworking give you a sense of complete control over what you’re doing. You choose where to cut, paint, glue, sketch and everything else that’s included in your personal creative process. This provides a sense of predictability when other situations you can’t control may affect your mental health. Using art to turn your problems into a narrative can help you work through them and help you resourcefully face life’s challenges.

Increase Your Sense of Fulfillment with Community-Based Art

Attending a regularly structured art class through your community can increase your social wellness and give you an increased sense of fulfillment. One study found that taking part in a community choir showed members experienced reduced feelings of loneliness and increased interest in life after just six months. Another study by Northwestern University shows that older adults with early stage dementia can improve their quality of life and remain social through regular theater improvisation. 

Discover an Enriched Life at Robson Reserve at Sun Lakes

From organized group activities to our arts and crafts studio, there’s never a dull moment at our senior living community. To learn how your life will expand with resort-like hospitality, abundant activities and maintenance-free living, contact our team at Robson Reserve at Sun Lakes online or call us at 1-800-701-5996. We’ll be happy to schedule a tour or answer any of your questions.