New years inevitably bring new resolutions. Although sports and fitness-based activities are usually top of the list, according to recent studies, practising an artistic hobby on a daily basis could contribute to physical, mental, social and emotional well-being.
There’s no need to set unattainable goals. Just a few moments spent learning a creative activity each day can be enough to boost your mood.
A mood lifter
Recent research from New Zealand, studying 658 adults for 13 days, found that participants who practiced creative activities on a daily basis experienced a genuine feeling of well-being the next day.
The researchers also concluded that all forms of art could have a positive impact on the content of a workday, as well as the quality of social relations, from the moment people engage in a creative and sensorial process.
Art is an excellent distraction, especially if you’re often occupied by intellectually challenging tasks. With dance, singing or theater, attention is focused on the present moment, with no room for unwanted thoughts or musings. Such activities can also get you moving and wake up your senses without the same performance objectives as with sport.
Painting, drawing, singing or improvisation sessions can help you achieve new, previously unattainable feats and rebuild confidence in your abilities. In fact, teaching hospitals in France are calling on art therapists and other professionals to help patients build their self-confidence.
In Grenoble, for example, 72% of children suffering from attention deficit issues and hyperactivity who followed seven drawing-based art-therapy sessions said they felt proud, 78% said they had renewed confidence in their abilities, 68% said they wanted to continue the sessions and 50% improved their interpersonal skills.
Train your brain
When learning new activities, new neuron networks are established in the brain. Recent scientific studies suggest that art, in general, could favour brain plasticity. This is currently being observed among recent stroke victims at the Pitié Salpêtrière hospital in Paris.
Something to enjoy every day
With busy schedules of working and commuting, we sometimes forget to include fun, endorphin-stimulating activities in our day-to-day lives. Artistic activities can create a haven, like a bubble of enjoyment, triggering positive emotions — and even more so in a group.