4 Curious Brain Benefits You Get From Making (and Looking at) Art

4 Curious Brain Benefits You Get From Making (and Looking at) Art

Love art? It loves you back by taking care of how you think.

Painting, doing chalk drawings, giving pottery a go- engaging in any kind of art is a relaxing pastime. And for its part, visiting a local gallery can also make us feel good- or at least, different in some way.

It goes beyond just putting color on the page or gazing at a masterpiece, though. Kids love doing making art and putting anything on the walls, even if it looks like a Picasso put through the washing machine and perhaps we should follow their lead.

Here are 4 ways your brain benefits from art:

1) It’s Rewarding

Studies, studies, studies, what would we do without them? A new study out of Drexel University in Pennsylvania has found that we feel rewarded when we make a piece of art, even if it’s pretty crappy.

Girija Kaimal, EdD, assistant professor in the College of Nursing and Health Professions, led a team that measured blood flow in the areas of the brain related to rewards, while study participants engaged in a variety of art-making projects.

Those in the study doodled, did free drawing and colored in mandalas like those in adult coloring books for about three minutes each.

It turns out, when making art, the participants had more blood flowing to the prefrontal cortex in the brain, the area related to regulating our thoughts, feelings and actions. Doodling had the greatest amount of response in the brain.

So, go ahead and make those hearts, rainbows and funny faces on the memo pad. It’s good for your mental health.

2) It Makes You Psychologically Stable

Making art and looking at it is good for your brain.

Making art can also improve your overall psychological stability. An article found at Huffington Post.com illustrates how it all works. A study it focuses on details how being creative with your hands could even keep your brain, and sense of self, from aging. Just ask Picasso, (if he were here). He lived and worked into his nineties.

3) It Can Help You Find Your Keys

If you keep on losing your house keys and your phone, drawing a portrait of your Great Aunt Suzy just might help. You’ll have an extra set of eyes on hand to search around the house when she comes over but more importantly, you’ll be improving your problem solving skills when put that charcoal to paper. Don’t believe it?

Check out this link.

4) It Forces Us to Be More Open Minded- Or At Least to Change Our Thinking

Making art and looking at it is good for your brain.

There’s a reason many artists are open-minded eccentrics. The work they do is causing them to look at the world in a different way.

When we look at abstract art, without even thinking about it, we scan the painting for links between line segments and recognizable shapes. And when we don’t find them, we’re forced to think of something else. What you think of is up to you, but it’s going to be something different. And hopefully, that’s a good thing.

Photo credits: viewapart/Bigsock; gstockstudio/Bigstock; HighwayStarz/Bigstock

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