It’s official, being creative reduces your stress! A study conducted by Drexel University found that being creative can significantly reduce stress-related hormones in the body.
This of course does not come as a surprise to me as I know this from my many years of working with people of all ages in mainstream, special education and adult education as well as out in the community. When we connect with ourselves on a deeper level we rewild ourselves tuning into a more natural way of being. Being creative is a natural part of being human. This creativity can manifest in all sorts of ways and we don't have to be 'good-at-art' to be creative!
Although the researchers from Drexel’s College of Nursing and Health Professions believed that past experience in creating art might amplify the activity’s #stress-reducing effects, their study found that everyone seems to benefit equally. And while there was some variation in how much cortisol levels lowered, there was no correlation between past art experiences and lower levels.
Girija Kaimal, EdD, assistant professor of creative arts therapies said, “Everyone is creative and can be expressive in the visual arts when working in a supportive setting.” This is great news if you want to do my therapeutic arts course!
The results of the study were published under the title “Reduction of Cortisol Levels and Participants’ Responses Following Art Making.”
Kendra Ray, a doctoral student under Kaimal, and Juan Muniz, PhD, an assistant teaching professor in the Department of Nutrition Sciences, served as co-authors.
“Biomarkers” are biological indicators (like hormones) that can be used to measure conditions in the body, such as stress. Cortisol was one such the hormone measured in the study through saliva samples. The higher a person’s #cortisol level, the more stressed a person is likely to be.
For Kaimal’s study, 39 adults, ranging from 18 to 59 years old, were invited to participate in 45 minutes of art-making. Cortisol levels were taken before and after the art-making period.
Materials available to the participants included markers and paper, modelling clay and collage materials. These are among the same materials that you will have access to on my therapeutic arts course.
Of those who took part in the study, just under half reported that they had limited experience in making art. This is very good to know as if you haven’t done any art before, and if you are considering my arts course, you can rest assured that you will benefit as much as someone with more creative experience.
The researchers found that 75 percent of the participants’ cortisol levels lowered during their 45 minutes of making art.
Here is what one of the participants had to say about their experience…
“It was very relaxing,” one wrote. “After about five minutes, I felt less anxious. I was able to obsess less about things that I had not done or need [ed]to get done. Doing art allowed me to put things into perspective.”
One of my AST members said of his first foray in to painting in 25 years "It was very calming to do. I’m currently off work sick and getting more than a little stir-crazy so it proved to be good therapy 😊"
Some cortisol can be beneficial.. “Some amount of cortisol is essential for functioning,” Kaimal explained. “For example, our cortisol levels vary throughout the day — levels are highest in the morning because that gives us an energy boost to us going at the start of the day.”
However, if we suffer from high levels of, or sustained, stress this leads to an increase in cortisol and this has a negative impact upon our health.
Being creative helps with your psychological wellbeing and therefore has an effect on your physical wellbeing too. Take a look at my Therapeutic Arts Course for more details. If you have any further questions send me a message.
If you love nature you might also like to join me for my Shinrin Yoku sessions. Shinrin Yoku, also known as forest bathing, is also scientifically proven to improve physical and mental wellbeing. Forest Bathing is a series of gentle mindful activities that take place outside in nature.
Take action today to reduce your stress and safe guard your wellbeing and join me for one of my courses!
In my Therapeutic Arts Course you learn a variety of creative techniques designed to help you reduce stress, increase your confidence and improve your sense of wellbeing. If you would like to know more take a look here for information.
We all have the right to a better more positivelife.
If you want to make positive changes to your life get in touch with me today.
PS To see the report 'Reduction of Cortisol Levels and Participants' Responses Following Art Making'