More and more people are looking to the arts to reduce negative feelings and to boost wellbeing – but what are the links between art and wellbeing? That is what we are going to explore on this page.
Read on to learn more about the links between the arts, health and wellbeing, including whether art can improve mental health. We’ll also be providing you with information about our art and yoga classes taking place at our Swiss art gallery.
Can Art Improve Mental Health?
Creativity can help you deal with negative emotions and psychological distress, including symptoms of mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression.
This is the reason that many people undergo art therapy to improve their mental health. Expressing yourself artistically can help you to resolve psychological issues, and can also help you to manage your negative feelings and behaviours.
Having a creative outlet can also help to reduce stress, and even improve your self-esteem. Being able to express yourself without the use of words can have a positive impact on your overall wellbeing.
An evaluation conducted by Arts and Minds, a prominent art and mental health charity, found their ‘Arts on Prescription’ project to be very successful. Their evaluation conducted that there was a 71% decrease in anxiety feelings, and a whopping 73% reduction in depression. Overall, 76% of participants felt an improvement in their general wellbeing.
Can Art Address Loneliness?
As well as improving your mental health, the arts can help you connect with a wider community. In the digital age we live in, it is far too easy to lose social connections and become distant from friends and family.
Likewise, more and more businesses are operating from home – so people who previously enjoyed the social aspect of work are now cut off from their colleagues.
However, art programs are a great place to socialise with like-minded individuals and help you to rebuild social connections. In fact, many care homes for the elderly have effective art activities that increase social interactions between residents, improving their mood and overall wellbeing.
Simply attending art galleries and art museums and discussing art with other art enthusiasts and creative people can make you feel less lonely. Why not visit our very own Grove Gallery today, or speak with one of our art experts about some of the pieces we have available to invest in?
Can Art Improve Your Health?
Some studies suggest that art can actually improve your physical health. There have been links found by a researcher at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology between cultural activities (such as creating or viewing art), and having:
- A higher level of life satisfaction
- Increased rates of good health
- Lower anxiety rates
- Lower depression rates
This study, known as the Nord-Trondelag Health Study, included information from 130,000 men and women over the age of 13. It questioned how often people participated in cultural activities such as attending art galleries and art museums.
84% of the people in the study that participated in four or more art-related activities reported good health, and 91% of the participants reported high levels of life satisfaction.
Is Yoga a Form of Art?
Many people refer to yoga as art – partly because it combines the art of the human body with geometry in a wide range of artistic poses. Yoga involves control, patience, balance, and creativity; much like art. Essentially, yoga is a balance between art and science.
There is an art to understanding and implementing yoga into your life. You have to learn a range of poses, and know when to assemble these poses in a sequence. It is an art that can be learned over time with experience.
Yoga and Mental Health
Yoga is a low-impact exercise that can reduce stress hormones in your body. Likewise, partaking in yoga on a regular basis can increase the production of beneficial brain chemicals such as GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) and endorphins. These chemicals can improve your mood and decrease feelings of anxiety.
Ultimately, practising yoga can give you a sense of inner peace, creating mental clarity and calmness within. Likewise, yoga can also increase your awareness and centre your attention. This can work to sharpen your concentration.
A huge benefit of yoga is stress reduction – yoga can relieve chronic stress patterns and relax your mind. Yoga can help to improve a range of mental health disorders. According to Harvard University, yoga can help to relieve symptoms of PTSD – post-traumatic stress disorder.
A study conducted by the Center for Integrative Psychiatry in the Netherlands involved 12 adults that had been dealing with depression for 11 years (on average). Each patient took part in a yoga program, which involved two and a half hours of yoga on a weekly basis, for a total of nine weeks.
The study found that levels of stress, anxiety, worry, rumination and depression had decreased throughout the course of the program, and the results lasted for the following four months after the program ceased.
Art and Yoga With Grove Gallery
Throughout the month of February, you can enjoy weekly art and yoga classes. These are taking place on Saturday mornings, and are the perfect opportunity to practise mindfulness, exercise, and enjoy art.
You can enjoy these workshops at our Swiss Art Gallery, at Theatre du Villars Palace. The day will begin with the viewing of a Grove Gallery art installation, giving you the chance to view artworks from well-known artists as well as emerging artists.
Then, at 10:30, the yoga class will begin with coach Anna Chekurova. The class will continue for an hour, before you begin the art workshop. During this time, you will also be offered fruit waters, teas, and fruit cocktails.
The art and yoga classes will end at 12 pm. Existing clients will have free access to the class – however, if you’re an external guest, you will be required to pay the standard cost of CHF 50 per person.