Magazine article Work & Family Life

Artistic Creativity May Be Good for Your Health

Magazine article Work & Family Life

Artistic Creativity May Be Good for Your Health

Article excerpt

Artists often talk about their work as a tension-relieving experience that brings them joy and gratification. Now several researchers are suggesting that actual physical changes take place in the body during the creative process. These changes seem to promote both mental and physical health and may even stimulate the immune system.

In his research, Blair Justice, Ph.D., author of the book Who Gets Sick? How Beliefs, Moods and Thoughts Affect Your Health (St. Martin's Press), has found that artistic activities such as drawing, painting, writing, playing a musical instrument, acting and dancing produce positive effects on the body, especially the brain.

As he explains it, the act of creating art serves to exercise and strengthen the connection between the right "intuitive" hemisphere of the brain and the left "intellectual" hemisphere. Bringing intuitive and intellectual faculties together seems to improve one's ability to cope with problems.

Studies by James Pennebaker, Ph.D., of Southern Methodist University, suggest that the immune function is enhanced when people directly confront their traumatic experiences and emotions through writing in a daily journal. …

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