Benefits of Art & Creativity on Mental Health

A blonde haired lady painting a picture with a paintbrush in her left hand.

Photo by Mathilde Langevin on Unsplash

Happy Stationery Week! I hope you are all enjoying the stationery filled posts on social media! People assume that because they don’t have a creative outlet, or are not naturally drawn to a creative activity – they must not be creative, which is not true. Another misconception is that some people are born creative and others aren’t.

The truth is that everyone can be creative; it is just a matter of discovering a creative outlet that suits you. A person has an average of 60,000 thoughts per day; how crazy is that figure?! Being involved in a creative activity can help your mind focused, not only that, but it has been suggested in various reports that creative activities can be just as calming as meditation for the body.

When you ask yourself, why do you like blogging or other creative activities, or when you ask others the usual response is ‘because it makes me happy, or it makes me feel good.’ Therefore, it is no surprise that being creative can help your mental health and change your mood and perspective.

There are a lot of benefits that being involved in art and creative activities can give you and positively impact your mental health.

These are 7 benefits that being creative can have on your mental health:

1. Boosts Your Self-Esteem

Engaging in and completing an art project, or a creative activity can give you a sense of achievement. I get that feeling when I complete a notebook – ha, ha! You can see all your hard work pay off, which makes you feel accomplished and good about yourself.

2. Improves Your Mood

When you are being creative, it stimulate the release of dopamine, which the raises your mood and will make you feel good. When you have accomplished a creative activity, you will have improved your self-esteem, which in turn improves your mood.

3. Alleviates Stress And Anxiety

Creative acts like crafting can help focus your mind on what you are doing – living mindfully. Like meditation, creative activities have calming effects on the brain and body.

Psychologists describe ‘flow’ as becoming deeply engrossed in an activity. So, being creative helps you tap into a ‘state of flow’ that can improve your performance and lower your stress levels.

A woman is painting a floral shape on paper, there are paint tubes next to herPhoto by Mathilde Langevin on Unsplash

4. Helps Motivate You

Are you feeling frustrated, or stuck with something? Being engaged with a creative activity can help to lift your mood and shift your focus. You can enjoy yourself and then go back to the task with a fresh mindset and it will be easier than before. You will be more motivated after the creative activity.

5. Boosts Your Confidence

When you are being creative, you see the bigger picture and you stay motivated and solve problems. This is confidence boosting! When you think creatively and overcome all kinds of challenges, you are showing yourself that you are capable of achieving. When you have completed the activity, you feel accomplished, which improves your confidence.

6. Helps To Clarify Your Thoughts And Feelings

Art and creative therapy is used by medical professionals to help process trauma and reduce stress and anxiety. Journaling is a powerful activity that helps you to improve your mental health. You are able to clarify how you are feeling as well as how to process your thoughts and feelings. As studies have shown, writing helps you to manage our negative emotions in a productive way.

I have journaled on and off since I was young and I love it! It is also great to be able to look back and read all about the memories as well as see all that I have achieve over the years.

7. You Are Able To Express Yourself

Being able to express yourself is your right and the freedom to express yourself is important to a person’s wellbeing. Creativity is the key to expression, no matter the form of creativity you choose to involve yourself in.

There are various creative activities that you could engage in to improve your mental health. Here are some fun activities to try:

  1. Crafting
  2. Writing in a journal or blog post
  3. Painting
  4. Drawing
  5. Gardening
  6. Cook or bake
  7. Learn an instrument
  8. Read a book
  9. Scrapbooking
  10. Bullet journaling
  11. Practise calligraphy with Crayola Supertips
  12. Colouring
  13. Taking photographs
  14. Kitting
  15. Crocheting
  16. Write a book
  17. Listen to music – sing and dance!
  18. Play with Lego and build things
  19. Play board games
  20. Restore furniture

Being creative in some form should feature in your life to provide positive mental wellbeing and to develop yourself. Adding simple creativity tasks into your self-care routine or your daily life will help bring positivity and improve your mental health.

What creative activities do you like to do? I’d love to hear in the comments.

40 thoughts on “Benefits of Art & Creativity on Mental Health

  1. I certainly agree art is therapists. Your mind has no chance to think when you are being creative.
    Colouring is for me and a dab at watercolours.

  2. It is certainly important to be creative and just let your mind run with it! so many studies have proved that it is relaxing and calms the mind and helps us cope with our day-to-day stresses and anxieties! I love just doodling for hours, it is so peaceful:) thank you for sharing lovely!

  3. I definitely agree, great post and a good way to encourage everyone to express themselves in journaling or creatively even if not directly arty

  4. 60,000 thoughts per day, wow, that’s a terrifying number. I have tried colouring books before but I just can’t get on with them, I find myself getting distracted which is not the purpose of the exercise! But I do love my blog so I guess that’s my creative outlet and my garden is my happy place, which is good for my mental health. Fab post as always, Lauren, thank you for sharing 🙂 Lisa x

  5. I mean, it totally makes sense and I totally understand why creative hobbies improve and help mental health. My blog was like that for me, until it became my job so I look at it a lot differently now however it does still help massively with my mental health because it always gives me a sense of purpose! I really wish I could get into more crafty things though, like painting or colouring! <3

    Jenny
    http://www.jennyinneverland.com

    1. That’s great it has helped you with anxiety, my blog helps me too as well as things like colouring. Maybe try paint with numbers first? It might be a great way to start. Thank you for reading and commenting ❤️

  6. That’s so amazing that you have found and connected with others, I wish I had this platform of people when I first was diagnosed with anxiety. Like you, it focuses my mind too. Thank you for reading and commenting xx

  7. That’s amazing! ❤️ colouring is so good, helps me focus and is so relaxing! Thank you for your service that’s amazing. Thank you for reading and commenting xx

  8. This is sooo true! Creativity really helps with my mental health too! I recently started journalling again to note down my thoughts and feelings, it really does help put things into perspective and focus on the positives. Colouring in is such a relaxing activity too, I can easily sit there and colour for hours! I love your pages, so pretty and colourful 🙂 Thank you for sharing lovely, this is such a great reminder to do something arty and creative over the weekend! <3 xxx

    Bexa | http://www.hellobexa.com

    1. I could colour for hours and have done before, time just runs away with me when I am colouring. It is so important to take time out and reflect. Journaling is so important! Thank you for reading and commenting ❤️xxx

  9. Wonderful post Lauren. I definitely agree that art can be a great form or therapy and, even if you’re not artistic there will be something for you to try. I’m hoping to have a go at scratch art and my parents kindly gifted me a penguin one for my birthday.

  10. Wonderful! I recently learned painting and it has helped me enormously in dealing with work stress. Shared your post on my blog. 🙂

  11. Totally. I’ve been loving exploring my creativity. Making poems out of my thoughts and drawing and painting. Yoga is quite creative too, a bit like dance. And thats just a few of the many options! Theres something for everyone when they look x

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