No one disputes that the arts – such as music, dance and visual art – possess great healing properties. Research now proves this. Creating art also has numerous health advantages as does appreciating art!
Playing music can help to lower anxiety while expressive writing helps those experiencing trauma work through their emotions. Furthermore, engaging in creative activities like painting and drawing can boost our brainpower as well as our overall wellbeing.
1. Boosts Self-Esteem
Studies have demonstrated that those who create art experience greater increases in self-esteem. One research project concluded that even 45 minutes of free art-making activity was enough to boost confidence levels significantly.
As creating something new requires making several important decisions for yourself – what color, what medium, what brush – it also serves as an act of confidence that reinforces that you possess the capacity to bring your visions into reality.
Creation can also serve as a confidence-booster by teaching you new skills. As you develop your technique, it becomes easy to see your progression as you build it, helping build trust in yourself and in yourself as a learner/grower. Imagine feeling proud after scoring a goal or beating an level in soccer or video gaming! That feeling can translate to finishing artwork too!
2. Reduces Anxiety
Creativity can be an invaluable way of dealing with anxiety. People living with it often find it distracting, frustrating and paralyzing – however by turning creative expression against this unwanted guest they can learn how to overcome its effects and use creativity to enhance their health.
Creative thinking involves out-of-the-box thinking that can stimulate both sides of the brain. Additionally, creative processes foster problem-solving skills by encouraging individuals to approach a situation from multiple perspectives.
Art is also an effective way of releasing negative emotions and feelings, which may help alleviate depression and enhance sleep quality. Many people living with mental health conditions have found that using art as a therapeutic outlet helps manage symptoms between therapy or medication sessions.
Engaging in creative activities such as painting and drawing has been shown to boost immunity by raising CD4+ lymphocytes levels, as ruminating over anxious thoughts only serves to make matters worse. By practicing mindfulness through creative endeavors, this form of activity can serve as a wonderful means of relieving stress and anxiety.
3. Increases Cognitive Function
Creative activities known to boost confidence can also promote healthy brain function. More specifically, they increase grey and white matter in various parts of your brain – including the hippocampus. 
Creative cognition shares many similarities with logical cognition, and may even enhance intelligence. If you are susceptible to neurodegenerative disorders like dementia or multiple sclerosis, however, it’s wise to be wary about engaging in creative pursuits.
Along with improving your brain, certain forms of art can also help make you more physically active. Dancing and sculpting, for instance, can increase muscle movement – something which is great for health – while dance and sculpture also help relieve depression and stress by providing an outlet for emotions while providing creative expression opportunities. Furthermore, creative expression helps people connect by encouraging empathy and tolerance among viewers from various cultures and traditions through viewing artworks from those cultures or traditions.
4. Improves Memory
No matter the scale or scope, creative work has the ability to strengthen memory. Creative activity demands intense concentration which stimulates your brain while building strong neural pathways.
Studies have demonstrated that people engaging in artistic activities such as music, drawing and painting tend to recall memories more easily. Researchers believe this occurs because practicing these skills encourages brain regions responsible for memory retention such as the hippocampus to grow stronger.
Studies have also demonstrated that people who spend more time outdoors tend to do better on memory tests than those who don’t, perhaps due to nature providing emotionally positive stimuli and stimulating the flow of thoughts more readily than phones and other technologies can. Conversely, floating is an excellent way of increasing concentration and increasing attention span – essential skills necessary for healthy memory function.