Creating art has always been considered therapeutic, yet many people avoid the activity because they lack artistic skills. According to a recent study, however, your artistic ability doesn't matter when it comes to reaping the benefits. Art can help you de-stress even if you've never touched a paint brush. Photo by RCabinilla.
The study, led by Girija Kaimal, EdD, and published in Art Therapy: Journal of the American Art Therapy Association, suggests that the process of making art, good or bad, is enough to significantly reduce stress-related hormones in your body. Participants in the study were given textas, paper, modelling clay and collage materials, then asked to create any art of their choice for 45 minutes. The researchers found that 75 per cent of the participants' cortisol levels lowered significantly. Better yet, there was no correlation between past artistic skill development and lower cortisol levels. Most of the people that made art felt a lot less stressed, regardless of their past experience or skill level. So if you're having a stressful week, sit down and make something. It doesn't matter if it's good, and nobody has to ever see it.
Reduction of Cortisol Levels and Participants' Responses Following Art Making [Art Therapy: Journal of the American Art Therapy Association via DrexelNOW]