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How Art Improves Mental Health

The world has experienced a lot of changes lately, and these changes are likely to continue. Many things that we would normally enjoy are inaccessible, but art still remains. Whether we begin our art journey by becoming an artist or appreciating the art hanging on our walls, it can do a lot to improve mental health. We just have to realize the importance of art and its benefits.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, approximately 1 out of every 5 adult Americans suffer some form of mental illness. This is not accounting for the day-to-day emotional stresses that every person encounters in regular life. That is why it is important to understand how art improves mental health, so people can use art to achieve some emotional peace.

How Art Improves Mental Health
There are many ways to encounter art, which means there are many ways it can improve mental health. Whether you are creating or observing art, the experience can yield different results.

Emotional Expression: The first way that art improves mental health is by providing a pathway to emotional expression. Sometimes the best way to sort through emotions is by first identifying them, but they can be elusive. You may be experiencing multiple emotions at one time, but art seems to clarify. The complex feelings you might be having are transformed into imagery that the brain can better sort through.

Emotional Acceptance: Once you have identified your emotional toils, you must accept them. Emotions are not things to be ashamed of. It is typically our actions caused by emotional frustration that lead to negative results. By identifying and accepting our emotions, we are less likely to act upon them in an unsavory manner.

Emotional Understanding: Identifying and accepting our emotions leads to understanding. You can look at a piece of artwork that you or anyone has created, and it can make you understand the world better. It might make you understand that we all suffer some way in life. It might help you realize that there is still good in life. The realizations that can be discovered through artwork are limitless.

Emotional Beautification: Lastly, art makes emotions a positive part of our existence. They are not our ultimate weakness but actually what gives life so much beauty and qualities that cannot be supplanted by artificiality. Emotional beautification is a reminder of our unique human ability to have emotion. It is emotion that creates the need to do good things for ourselves and for others. It is our emotions that explain why we hurt and how we can hurt less. The combination of emotions and art is beautiful.

Have a good week!

dei gratia,
Milessa

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Milessa Murphy Stewart

The best paintings create a story. My stories have happy endings.

Milessa was born a big city girl in a dry, desolate area of Texas where the only trees she saw were mesquite and the only things to climb was her horse. She remembers a lot of brown but that did not stop her from dreaming in beautiful, bold color. She paints in a playful and visual style. 

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