Every day we are encompassed by our surroundings, which are made up of various people and places. The world around us is thriving and so busy living that often we forget to pause for a minute to appreciate the intrinsic beauty of the art the circles us. Almost anything we see can be considered a work of art, yet art is frequently overlooked as we go about our own busy days, getting knocked lower and lower on the list of our priorities and becoming easier to ignore, easier to forget. I have always loved art, even from the time I was a young girl I have been infatuated with art. As I had the opportunity to attend the Utah Arts Festival this weekend in Salt Lake City, Utah, I got to meet multiple talented people and was extremely ecstatic to see some of the art taking place. (I highly recommend going to any kind of arts festival, they always have such amazing stuff and generally have great activities for kids, too!) As I sat in awe of many of the artists there, I realized that it is time to make a change in the priority list. It is time to make creating and appreciating art a bigger priority in life, and a bigger priority in the lives of children, because they are the next generation. Here are 10 reasons why:
1- Art is a Great Form of Stress Relief
Whether creating or just looking at and appreciating it, art naturally has a therapeutic effect on our minds. It allows our minds to focus on something besides the stress of whatever is worrying us, giving our brain a chance to relax and exercise our creative muscles.
2- Art Makes You Smarter
There are many studies that show art is a key way to learn critical thinking skills, develop innovative ideas, and harness problem solving skills. Especially in children, art can play a significant role in their learning and development.
3- Art Opens up the Mind
There are so many different types of art and people who create art; by immersing ourselves in the variety out there we are able to see the world from different perspectives and other points of view. Whether it is a piece from a thousand years ago or a performance from a local artist you just met, art tells a story. If we allow art into our lives, we allow those stories to influence us and it gives us opportunities to really live up to the potential that we may not have known we had otherwise.
4- Art Allows Perfect Originality
Through art is perfect self-expression. We can be whoever we want to be. Do whatever we want to do. Say whatever it is we want to say. Just as every person is original, everything about art is original. It is specific to you, your preferences, your knowledge, your emotions, your story. When one is truly creating from their heart, the art is more than just a piece, it becomes an extension of you.
5- Art Breaks the Language Barrier
No matter where you go in the world, there is going to be someone that does not understand you. It might be a misunderstanding, it might be a language you don’t understand, it might be that their cultural differences are completely opposite of yours, but whatever the barrier is, art is something that speaks to all people in one way or another. It is something two people who may not have ANYTHING else in common can relate to emotionally, giving them a special connection.
6- Art is an Outlet for all Emotions
Maybe you have had a bad day at work, maybe you just found out some horribly sad news, maybe you are completely in love or maybe you just feel confused. Using art as a form of expression is one of the healthiest, most beneficial ways to express that emotion. Being able to get what you are feeling right out gives your body and mind an overwhelming feeling of satisfaction because you allowed yourself to truly feel what you were feeling and express it, rather than just bottling it up or shutting it out.
7- Art Rids Anxiety and Decreases Depression
Anxiety and Depression are both very serious disorders that are often underestimated and overlooked. Whether you struggle with it as a condition or maybe you just have a rough day and feel anxious or depressed, art can be used as an outlet to escape from those feelings. As stated earlier, art allows your brain to focus on what you are creating, allowing your brain a rest from producing the chemicals that cause stress, fear, worry, sadness, and depression. It also stimulates your creativity boosts levels of satisfaction through the creative process, which is a natural way to fight both anxiety and depression.
8- Art Builds Confidence
Art tests your capabilities and encourages constant work towards improvement, every time one engages the outcome is better than the last. This gives a feeling of self accomplishment and pride in the work that is being done which in turn, exerts itself as confidence. As confidence grows we test the limits of our own capabilities and find we can do more than we thought of before, thus encouraging more confidence. It is a beautiful cycle!
9- Art Gives You Freedom
We are bound by rules, things that control our behavior, provide us with safety, and limit what we can do. Now, I am a huge fan of rules in many ways (because they can provide structure which helps us to grow, but that is for a post at a later time), but the endless possibilities that define freedom through the expression of ourselves through art is exhilarating. You can create literally anything you can think of, the potential is limitless.
10- Art Brings Happiness
What is the entire point of living life? Certainly not to spend it being depressed and working too hard. The reason we live is to be happy, the reason we do everything we do is to find happiness. Art is one of the most pure forms of joy that there can be. Creating allows us to think freely, really do what we want to do, and gives us a purpose. All of these things encourage your brain to generate endorphins to make us happy. By taking time to appreciate the art around us, we allow our minds to rest from the busy-ness of life and really feel what we are living to feel- Happiness.
All Photo Credit for this post goes to SoliPix 🙂