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Mojatu Foundation

by Wafula Jo

Art is more than just a pretty picture. It is your own story, emotion, and expression. It represents your inner being and your thoughts. On the other hand, Culture includes the elements that characterise a particular people’s way of life.

The arts are – a vast subdivision of culture, composed of many creative endeavours and disciplines. The arts encompass visual arts, literary arts, and performing arts.

You do not have to be a fine artist, or performer or have a lot of money to experience the benefits of art. There are no rules, boundaries, restrictions, or hindrances when finding your perfect artwork.

As long as it speaks to you, gets your feelings going and your mind growing, you are all set. That is truly meaningful art. Below are some of the health & well-being benefits of art that you may want to know more about.

Improved Mental Health

There are countless people worldwide right now that are burdened with stress for many reasons. From kids having a mental breakdown for not being able to achieve good grades (yes, that’s very true) to adults juggling multiple responsibilities, health challenges, and social-economic challenges.

Let us not forget, work stresses and burnouts are also prevalent amongst individuals currently. The list may be endless. Such instances can trigger stress, depression, anxiety, panic, ADHD, and similar other mental health issues.

Remember the day you come home running with that first artwork you had made in class, and it instantly got put up on the fridge? It could be a mere cartoon from your pre-nursery days or an amateur sketch. You were happy, right? Art invokes feelings. It’s meditative.

It doesn’t matter if it’s high-end art from a gallery or something homemade by your kids, it is nevertheless a great source of happiness and relieving mental health issues.

If you take your time and energy into using your mind to mentally picture a beautiful place inside your head right now…

Does that bring contentment to your heart and a smile to your face? I bet it does. What could be more important than that? Aren’t we all striving to lead a happy life? Is it not happiness the goal of our life?

Art is fun and reduces the effects of mental health issues, alleviating stress hormones and bringing a sense of gradual relief to the neural sensors of the brain.

Surrounding yourself with meaningful art, in the long run, can be a great form of self-therapy and relief.

Freedom

Art gives you freedom. It allows you to run away and explore as you look at it, and lets it embrace your mind. There is never a right or wrong kind of art for you. Art is art. When choosing YOUR art, you are in a non-judgemental and free space where you can pour your heart out to be it witnessing those strokes of colour and have nobody rule your feelings.

You have the permission to feel new things with art and strip away any inhibitions in your life. Honestly, it gives you the ultimate freedom you need in life.

Self-expression

Often, we tend to feel alone as well, even when we are surrounded by a room full of people. You may not be best at expressing the happiness or resentment you feel within yourself. Art has the ability to fill up any room at your will. Something chosen by you, that always supports what you think and believe.

Just by laying your eyes on it, you can always escape to your own inner nature and embrace the feeling there is a like-minded soul right there with you.

The more you start thinking about art, the better you get at exploring your own feelings and effectively knowing yourself. You may have seen the best artists always sharing a story with their art. They use art as a medium of self-expression. That does not go away when you put their art up in your home but rather adds to it!

Self-awareness

Sure, you may have less meaningful art in your house, different images popular on Instagram and Pinterest, but all art doesn’t have to be totally unique and authentic. Again, each artwork chosen by you helps you express your truest self and your inner potential.

Art makes you feel worthwhile, aware, and bountiful of your inner being. You need not pretend to blend with every artwork, but make sure you surround yourself with at least a few pieces that you really connect with!

Improved problem-solving skills

Obstacles and challenges are inevitable in life. All of us indeed have had our fair share of struggles. However, the way we handle it and manage it has the maximum importance. Just like our life, we can find ourselves struggling to choose art.

We may be unable to find a good inspiration or a vision in our minds of what we are looking for. In such cases, the key to creativity is to be resourceful and solve problems differently. With problems, we harness our creativity.

You can find a myriad of solutions with a creative approach. Hence, when you actually find it, it will have started improving your life even before you put it up. It is a fact art improves problem-solving skills at every age and stage of life.

Engage with a community

Just like we have a community of art enthusiasts contributing their efforts to create art for a good cause, you can also connect to similar like-minded people when you surround yourself with art.

There are countless communities worldwide for art enthusiasts (who just love to look at art) that share feedback, opinions, and views on different art forms, cultures, and so much more.

Conversing with such incredible artists and art lovers and connecting with their experiences is definitely one of the most rewarding experiences ever that also is known to alleviate loneliness and isolation.

Improved self-esteem

The right art on your wall is a form of positive accomplishment. Often, we tend to drown ourselves with past failures and worthlessness in life and tend to forget the little things present in our lives, making it a better place to live.

Looking at art releases the neurotransmitter dopamine into your brain system, which stimulates the creation of new neurons, keeps it active, and improves your self-esteem.

According to research, just visiting a museum can improve well-being by decreasing any negative emotions and increasing positive ones among individuals. Imagine having some of that power right in your own home every day.

At the Community Health & Wellbeing Hub Reading on Tuesday drop-in session from 11.30-1pm, you will often find some men and women and children indulging in artwork and when you take time to understand what/why it is they are drawing, you then get to understand how important art is to our health & wellbeing.

Also get to connect with other artists like Joseph Wafula, Yvonne, Chloe among others.

Follow Jo on Instagram www.instagram.com/silvanosart and a taste of some of his work below.

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