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The Role of Art and Culture in Mental Health

Updated: Jul 4, 2023


Art & culture has played a significant role in the development of people. From ancient cave paintings to contemporary works of art, creative activity leaves its mark on time, culture, and history. But creativity also has a more personal inner meaning and is a powerful mental health and self-expression tool.

As evidence of the effectiveness of cultural and arts-based approaches grows, we can now see their relevance to medicine beyond mere healing metaphors. That is not an "auxiliary method"; art is an independent tool for improving human health. And that's good news.

How Art & Culture Work as Therapy

The arts & culture are regarded as powerful psychotherapy forms that provide physical, emotional, as well as psychological benefits to the recipient. Art & culture can be used as a therapeutic tool in the following ways:

  • Music can help reduce fear and stress and create a more harmonious rhythm of life.

  • Drama and storytelling promote the social interactions necessary for good health.

  • Dance and movement can help reduce anxiety caused by stress due to health issues such as pandemic situations.

  • Movies and photos can help reduce stress and short-term anxiety and help you overcome body shame. - Museum visits play an essential role in maintaining health and social inclusion.

  • Visual art reduces feelings of loneliness and isolation and creates a positive therapeutic environment.

Art therapy: healing through art

Art therapy is a type of psychotherapy that uses self-expression as communication. This approach is used to express hidden or complex emotions difficult for a person to express in words. Creating art objects and discussing existing works allows patients to explore their feelings, cope with stress, increase self-esteem and develop social skills.

Art therapy's primary goal is to positively impact the patient's mental state and emotional background through self-expression and self-knowledge by creating art objects. By painting, making sculptures, and capturing life in the frames of photography, a person reveals, expresses, and explores the whole range of feelings and emotions available to a person — from pain and hatred to love and delight. The magic behind this approach is that by allowing creativity to lead, the patient allows the inner self to be poured into his work. As a result, emotions subside, the internal state stabilizes, and harmony and peace come.

Effects of Creativity on Mental Health

Creativity, such as drawing, writing, dancing, or any other form, can potentially prevent and treat many mental illnesses. The first is how to deal with stress. Scientific studies show that creative activity can lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

Creativity can also help fight depression and anxiety. Drawing, writing, and playing an instrument can make you feel better and reduce the symptoms of these conditions.

Creativity as a means of self-expression

In addition to its role in therapy, creativity is also essential for self-expression. It provides an opportunity to communicate and explore your feelings and ideas. With the help of art, people can express what they can't or don't want to say. It helps develop emotional, intellectual, and self-awareness and is a valuable tool for spiritual well-being.

Creativity and meditation.

Creativity can also serve as a meditative experience. Immersion in the creative process can lead to a "flow" state of complete immersion in the activity. We can reach this state when we are so focused on what we are doing that we forget about the time and our surroundings. It is precious for those suffering from anxiety and overwork, as the "flow" state brings calmness and disconnection from the world around them.

The Project C Foundation team and their counselors assure you that it is easier to achieve remission by using art therapy to treat mental and psychological problems. For mentally healthy people, it allows you to establish contact with the soul with the body, to open up, and have confidence. Use art therapy in everyday life to improve its quality.

Written By:

Evgeniia Mironova


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