Celebrating the Benefit of Art on Wellbeing
This April 15th, World Art Day will be celebrated around the globe. The event is a positive reflection on the fine arts in their visual, musical, and theatrical forms, and seeks to acknowledge the way that these art forms have sculpted our species, our societies, and the stories it has allowed to be so beautifully told.
The Power of Self-Expression
One of the many positive roles played by art is that of facilitating therapeutic creative self-expression. It’s something that’s deeply meaningful to many who manage ongoing chronic physical and mental health issues, serving as a means to express both triumphs and frustrations. Art therapy can be especially powerful for children, who reap benefits from arts education that are too numerous to ignore. Though all children stand to see significant developmental gains when engaged in arts education, it can be especially helpful to those with physical and mental health challenges.
Developing Emotional Resilience
Learning about the arts provides children with opportunities for emotional development, and can help them improve their ability to regulate emotional expression. As they study and engage with art either at home or in the classroom, they’ll be exposed to new people, places, and cultures; this fosters a deeper sense of empathy, encouraging emotional maturity in kids. Kids who engage in theatre education may also have an easier time mastering emotional regulation, as they are learning to manage their internal feelings and compare them against their expectations of performance.
A reduction in feelings of stress, anxiety, and depression is another emotional benefit of self-expression through art. It’s true for both children and adults that participating in the creation of an art project can help to speed the release of negative emotions, helping to restore a calm and balanced state of mind.
A Lifetime of Art
When arts education takes place in the classroom, it is directly correlated with an overall improvement of well-being. When education styles that move beyond standard book learning and into hands-on engagement with the arts are used in classroom teaching, a reduction in the occurrence of low well-being in children can be seen. These educational styles can also serve to inspire a general sense of positivity in children who are prone to negative thoughts and feelings.
The encouragement of self-expression is one of the most important roles that arts education plays in the role of children, especially those facing chronic health challenges. Both children and adults with chronic illnesses have a unique story to tell, and expressing their journey through art, music, and theatre can act as a fulfilling and deeply necessary emotional release.
As we celebrate this World Art Day, acknowledgement must also be given to the role that art can play in bolstering the mental health of both children and adults who are homebound by chronic illness. This year’s celebration takes a much different form than prior years due to global health concerns, making the healing power of art more important than ever.
Interested in learning more about the myriad ways in which arts education can benefit kids? We The Parents have assembled a visually informative graphic detailing these assets and more as well as the research which backs these claims, so read on.
*Note: This article is meant for educational purposes and is based on the author’s personal experiences. It is not to be substituted for medical advice. Please consult your own doctor before changing or adding any new treatment protocols.
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