Numerous studies are now beginning to show the real health benefits of art. Such as alleviating stress and anxiety, controlling pain, and empowering people in their own healing. This is a huge topic with many aspects so I will be breaking this up over several blog posts.
Today I’d like to discuss the benefits of adult coloring books, knitting and crochet, and mandala making. What do these crafts all have in common? Patterns! Our brains love to recognize patterns and put things in order. To do so we use a lot of higher brain functions which leaves us little energy left to spend on things like our worries and anxieties. This not only works if you are in the act of creation but also for the viewer. Allowing your mind to wander in a field of colors or closing your eyes and ‘seeing’ the patterns in a musical piece can also help relieve stress and anxiety. During these activities your brain will zone in on what it loves to do and push aside your other thoughts. The more you engage in these activities the more long lasting benefits you will receive.
Another thing that are brains love to do is maintain homeostasis. Basically our brains are lazy and don’t like expanding an effort to change. The more we engage in an activity that brings us peace the more our brains will work to maintain that peace.