This world isn’t always a happy place to be in.

With the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention releasing a report that details a haunting rise in suicides and the high profile suicides of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain circulating throughout the media, the struggles of mental illness have become front and center.

While one of the most effective routes of treatment include consulting a medical professional, studies have shown that art and crafting can boost mood and productivity.

Those suffering from depression and anxiety as well as those just looking for stress relief can rest assured that their DIY project has some added benefits.

Art Reduces Stress & Anxiety Levels

In today’s fast-paced society, it’s not uncommon to get caught up in the torrents of stress that comes along with it.  According to a study of two groups of undergraduate students before finals, the group participating in an art-making program had significantly reduced anxiety than the control group.

Not only that, but art therapy is a common element in counseling programs across the country for patients with PTSD, depression, anxiety, and more.

Creative Projects Boost Brain Connectivity

Another fascinating thing about art is that it strengthens the physical connections inside your brain. According to a 2014 study, creating art actually improves the brain’s resilience to stress. In other words, whenever you work on a DIY project, your brain’s connectivity between cells gets stronger, leading to a better frame of mind. Along with increased focus and problem-solving skills, art is proving to be not only therapeutic, but truly healing.

Art Therapy Aids in Chronic Illness

Since making art improves brain processes, it’s also able to improve other cognitive processes, especially those associated with brain disorders like dementia. In fact, Dr. Arnold Bresky’s “Brain Tune Up,” a multi-disciplinary art therapy program, has reportedly resulted in a 70% improvement in his patient’s memory recollection. Not only that, but the program is said to also help improve social interactions and self-esteem with dementia patients.

DIY Projects Stimulate Creative Thinking

While some have likened the effects of art to meditation, there’s no denying that creative projects have an incredible effect on the human brain. In Dr. Lawrence Katz’s research, he explains how mental decline has more to do with the loss of connectivity between brain cells, not the death of the cells. Strengthening the brain’s connectivity by exercising creative thinking is ultimately one way to help ward off cognitive decline.

 

Incorporating regular DIY or art projects into your routine may not only improve your physical and mental wellbeing, it may even save your life.

 

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