The Train the Brain campaign is designed to help participants understand the importance of taking care of their brains, every day. If you’ve participated in the campaign, or even read a few of our blogs, you know that simple things like taking a 30 minute walk or spending time with a good friend are ways to keep your brain healthy and thriving. A topic that we haven’t discussed, however, is the impact that art can have on the brain’s health and development.
Art enhances brain function and promotes overall well-being. Now, you might be thinking to yourself: I’m not an artist, and I don’t understand art! That’s okay! Simply witnessing art is great for your brain. For example, observing dancers or appreciating a painting are activities that directly influence overall health and life expectancy.
“The experience of viewing awe-inspiring art has a positive effect on the physical body and mental state.”
– Renee Phillips, The Healing Power of Art & Artists
Participating in art nourishes the parts of the brain that control our emotions and fine motor skills. Even if you aren’t a seasoned artist and have limited artistic ability, participating in an art activity promotes creativity and reduces stress, depression and the risk of chronic disease.
During the October 2019 Train the Brain campaign, Palm Health Foundation hosted a free art meditation experience, led by registered art therapist Ellaine Peck. Members of the community who had never met gathered in a room to experience a guided meditation followed by art expression using markers, pencils and paint. Each participant received a blank piece of paper and was asked to draw the imagery that came into their minds during the meditation.
Many of the participants had never created art of any kind before. By the end of the session, each had created a beautiful piece that promoted stimulating conversation and, in some cases, emotional healing.
Whether or not you consider yourself an artist, participating in and witnessing art creates lasting impact on both your brain health and overall well-being. After a stressful day at work, try drawing your emotions on a page – use lines, colors and shapes to express your feelings. Then, observe what you’ve created. Your brain will thank you.
Read more about the healing power of art here.