I was reading a study in the American Journal of Public Health, who published a review, The Connection Between Art, Healing, and Public Health. In that article, researchers analyzed more than 100 studies about the impact of art on your health. These included music and writing to dance and the visual arts.
As an example, here are the findings from five visual arts studies mentioned in that review (visual arts includes things like painting, drawing, pottery, photography, etc.) Each study examined more than 30 patients who were battling chronic illness and cancer.
Here’s how the researchers described the impact that visual art activities had on the patients…
“Art filled occupational voids, distracted thoughts of illness”
“Improved well–being by decreasing negative emotions and increasing positive ones”
“Improved medical outcomes, trends toward reduced depression”
“Reductions in stress and anxiety; increases in positive emotions”
“Reductions in distress and negative emotions”
“Improvements in flow and spontaneity, expression of grief, positive identity, and social networks”
This study was taken on patients, but in my opinion this could easily apply to anyone. Wouldn’t you agree? The study shows that the impact of art, music, and writing can be seen in your physical body. Your body can recover/heal faster and creates and sense of youth to the soul. It diminishes stress and keeps you going. I found this study very interesting because I KNOW for a fact, that music, art and photography honestly makes me feel better. But also reading that it can actually CHANGE things in my body physically, is incredible news.
How much do I consume vs. produce?
In our always–on, always–connected world of television, and social media, it can easily consume our day, if we let it consume our day.
photography, for myself, offers an outlet from all of that. Instead of constantly consuming incoming, I try to produce more outgoing. But I tend to keep a healthy balance. I love being inspired by others, as I like to inspire. I feel as long as I continue to create and produce, this IS my form of art. My form of creating. My form of expression. My form of peace. My form of healing.
I would encourage you now to start with a blank doc and TYPE a story, or DRAW, or grab your CAMERA and take a picture, or turn up the MUSIC and DANCE, or begin that CONVERSATION and make it a good one, or BUILD something, or SHARE something, or CRAFT something. Whatever it is you are called to do, I would do it. Your soul wants that and needs that.