Art activities may reduce stress for seniors
Our modern world seems to be chock-full of stress. There are TV news stations blaring doom and gloom twenty-four hours a day. Social media has friends and family at conflict. Add into that the many challenges which come with the natural process of aging, and it’s no wonder that seniors often suffer from a variety of stress-related issues.
Art can help.
Creating art is a low impact activity which
practically every person can participate in, in one way or another. Here are
just a few ways in which art helps to relieve stress and lower anxiety levels.
Art Classes are Social
Even if there’s just a student and an instructor, that
interaction brings wellness with it. Human beings are coded to be social
animals. Our brains and spirits benefit from positive interactions with others.
Being in a situation where your thoughts and interests are validated is warmly
Art Classes are Inspirational
Art styles come in an infinite range of variety. Every
one of us does art in our own, unique way. Some of us enjoy realistic flowers
while others of us love making shapes out of colors. Every one of us is on our
own path, exploring our own visions. We help each other learn and grow.
Art Classes Explore Our Emotions
There are many times when it’s hard to discuss a
topic. Maybe we’re worried about our finances but don’t want to let others know
the situation we’re in. Maybe our hip is acting up again but we don’t want to
be seen as a complainer. Art lets us explore our concerns and issues in a way
which is freeing. We can express ourselves without words. We can communicate in
a way which reaches others.
Art Classes Reconnect Us With Beauty
It’s easy to focus on the troublesome things in life,
since often they tend to stand out. Art reminds us to slow down. To look around
us and remember all we have to be grateful for. A roof over our head. A safe
place to sleep. Food. Water. Art lets us focus in on a pink blossom. A blue
sky. The simple pleasures in life which exist all around us.
Art Classes Benefit All Levels of Students
You might think that it’s only advanced students – the
one who create flawless Mona Lisa images with the flick of a wrist – who
benefit from participating in an art class. But a study published in the 2016
issue of Art Therapy found that all
levels of students saw a drop in their cortisol levels after just 45 minutes of
working with art. It could even be that newer students have fewer expectations
for themselves, since they know they are just starting out. But, really, every
person in art always has things to learn. No matter where a person is on the artistic
skill scale, there are things they have figured out and things they want to
work on. That’s the wonderful aspect of doing art. There’s always somewhere to
go on the path.
Art classes bring a wealth of benefits for a senior’s
body, mind, and spirit. Whatever the outcome of the worked-on piece, the simple
act of working on an art project provides tangible wellness results. It’s well
worth it for seniors to explore their art instruction options and to sign up
for a few workshops. Whether the classes are in painting or drawing, in
creating abstract color splotches or carefully portraying a field of tulips,
the act of creating is innate within each of us. Engaging in those expressions
of our inner voice releases stress, eases anxiety, and helps us live each day
to its fullest.