As I was sitting at home last night working on homework I was having a terrible time concentrating. It makes sense, right? There’s quite a bit of uncertainty in the world right now and it just has to have an effect on us… it can’t not! I found myself grabbing a sheet of scrap paper and moving between doodling and homework. Next thing I know, I’m getting my work done.
See, as I’ve grown older I’ve realized that doodling/creating/artmaking is not just fun and not just another distraction. It’s a great way to help us relax and refocus.
My homework doodles- clearly I was hungry!
So, how does creating benefit your mental health and how can Studio 23 help?
Well, Malaka Gharib, a journalist for NPR, found that in between daily tasks she was always doodling. To find out why she enjoyed doodling so much and what effects it had upon her brain, Gharib spoke with Girija Kaimal, a professor and researcher in art therapy at Drexel University. Kaimal conducted an experiment where blood flow to the brain of a variety of participants was measured. They found that when subjects created there was an increased amount of blood flow to the reward center of the brain. This would suggests that creating art stimulates the reward center of the brain.
In another experiment, subjects were asked to create art for 45 minutes in a studio with an art therapist. During this time, cortisol levels significantly lowered. Additionally, they found “no differences in health outcomes between people who identify as experienced artists and people who don’t.”
What this information suggests to me is right now, during a pandemic, we need to create more than ever. This is why Studio 23 has been offering art classes and virtual art lessons that you can easily follow. I make it a point to post fun, easy projects that don’t require a bunch of fancy art supplies. Because it doesn’t matter what products you use or what your result is- it’s the act of creating that helps center us.
I hope this inspires you to keep healthy and create something today!
Autumn Reyes, Education Coordinator
If you’d like to read more on that study, here’s the link!
Posted in my office space to inspire me! 🙂