From a very young age, the first thing a child will scribble is a sketch that sometimes looks like abstract art. Very early on, pencils, modelling clay and music boxes invade the bedrooms of young children, forcing parents to hang the most beautiful works of art of their sweetheart on their kitchen walls.
But why are children encouraged to practice art when they are not even able to speak or write their first name? Numerous studies have shown that art is an excellent tool for brain development, and is even necessary for a healthy lifestyle.
Here is a brief overview of what can be gained from practising an artistic activity…
According to a 2016 study, 45 minutes of artistic creation lowers the level of cortisol, a hormone responsible for stress. Another study showed that 30 minutes of artistic activity, especially painting, reduces the anxiety of students preparing for exams. Art classes would also relax people caring for sick people.
Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi describes artistic practice as “filling the void” as “being in an area where in a totally absorbed way you enjoy an easy task”. To achieve this action, art is an effective means because the act is not motivated by a final goal but by the process itself. This study is not only for professionals. Indeed, it has been proven that high school students were more engaged and motivated by their art classes and that this had a strong positive effect on their mood. So, just like in sports, if we start drawing on a piece of paper, our heads will start to free ourselves from all cumbersome thoughts and just think about what we are doing.
For years, researchers have shown that playing an instrument amplifies the brain’s abilities. The use of a musical instrument is believed to improve language, academic performance and memory skills, especially for children who practice regularly. Adults are not excluded from its benefits. “Researchers confirm that “Active music practice in a social context improves the quality of life, well-being and mental and physical health of older people.
Writing also helps to highlight our questions. According to one study, writing and staging our problems would make them more manageable in our minds. So even though the exercise is hard, writing about a traumatic experience would be beneficial for mental recovery.
Benefits related to art have also been observed at a neurological level. Indeed in 2014, a study has shown that when an individual is focused on a creation, his brain connections are improved. This happens when the person is not focused on the outside world, and when the brain is at rest, but active.