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Why Art? How Does It Heal Us?

As a child, I always thought in art museums, Why are they staring at this painting for so long? Now, as I am growing up, I realize why those people used to look at the paintings, and ironically I find myself looking at pictures like them. I failed to understand the tremendous delight and comfort those people got from seeing art. Many studies have shown that any form of art helps relieve mental issues like cancer, depression, etc. Moreover, indulging in any state of the art improves cognitive thinking and memory in people.

Mental Health Foundation, UK suggests that investing time in any form of art helps to increase creativity, promoting relaxation, thereby making us feel much better. Art is a form of self-expression. By creating art, one expresses his inner self to the world, eventually venting out his thoughts and emotions. It helps him to carry on through his difficult times. People write excerpts, draw, sing, and compose songs to memorialize their traumas.

Empathizing with someone’s art relives him from the horrors he went through. It also provides comfort, and the support that he is not alone. There are others who went through something similar experiences.

Research by specialists at California University in Berkey suggests that art helps heal oneself. Relishing creative art boosts the immune system. Many people who indulge in art during chronic diseases show high chances of recovery. It also helps with communication skills, enhancing knowledge, and connecting with oneself.

We experience our past as visual images and perceptions. When distressed, many people start with their art. By doing so, they share again what they went through, and by shaping it into a form of art, they deal with it and vent it out.

Psychologist and Professor James Pennebaker showed by experimenting on how even spending only fifteen minutes in writing contributed to one’s well being. He also showed how people started being more thoughtful as they initially started writing with ‘I,’ and by the end of the experiment, they started using ‘we’ or ‘us.’

Mental health experts also recommend art as an essential part of the patient’s treatment. Expressing oneself through any form of art, be it dancing, singing, acting, or painting helps to deal with negative thoughts and emotions. People are actively using art to overcome Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and depression. It is becoming clear that art helps in the overall health of an individual.

As said by Oscar Wilde, art is the most intense form of individualism that the world has known. Personal form of art shows how significant it is to express ourselves by traversing our artistic sides. It allows us to empathize with others and provides a space to explore ourselves.


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