Music, Drama, Art and other creative outlets are all ways in which you can reduce your stress and anxiety.
For some, it gives a ‘safe space’ where they can express their innermost thoughts and comfortably relax in the company of others who also enjoy their passion for the arts. It creates an environment in which outside factors of life temporarily disappear, and so this is one of the reasons that the arts matter
It was revealed that when people participate in creative arts such as drawing or painting, they had a 71% decrease in feelings of anxiety and a 73% fall in depression. They also found that 76% of participants said their wellbeing increased and 69% felt more socially included, studies found by the Arts and Minds mental health charity.
This proves that Creative Arts are beneficial, not only to your creative mindset but to your mental health and through the making of art, you’re allowing your mind to speak – as opposed to silently suffering from your mental health. The least you can do is simply take out some paper and a pen and draw the first thing that comes to mind. Or better yet, buy the adult colouring books that were all the hype two years ago. They’re really satisfying to complete and manages to take you away from outside influences even just for a little bit.
When it comes to music, there are many studies that show the benefit of regularly taking part in activities including the use of instruments or voice, such as Musical Theatre, Orchestra, Jazz Band, etc. If you aren’t musically gifted or don’t own an instrument, that’s okay! Anyone can learn, and the routine or structure of the lessons and the discipline that comes with learning how to perform might actually give you a driving force that wills you forward, even in those tougher times. If you’re really against learning an instrument (personally, I know it can be expensive!) then why not just listen to a wider range of music. There is a song called ‘Weightless’ by Marconi Union, and it’s been proven to reduce anxiety by 65%. How crazy is that? One song can relieve such a big percentage. At least give it a listen and see if Music is a good platform for you.
Last but not least is Performing Arts, particularly Drama for myself. From my own personal experience, drama has managed to be a safety net for me countless times. It picked me up during moments in times when I really struggled to balance everything. The friends it gave me and the community that I would walk into every week for my rehearsal was and continues to be so comforting. I knew that whenever I went to rehearsal, I would forget everything that was stressing me out and just perform. There was nothing more to it. I whole-heartedly recommend joining a theatre company, because the people you’ll meet and the memories you’ll make together could just be that ‘safety net’ that you need. Even if it’s just to go out and watch more theatre, the concept of Drama for me, is to create a new world to perform and enjoy yourself in, no matter how you choose to participate.
Overall, the arts are really influential towards Mental Health and coming from my experience, I know that without them I would not be where I am today mentally. I love every minute of theatre, music and art that I can get my hands on, and I genuinely believe that if you’re in a rough time, and you need that extra support, you should invest in a creative hobby. The arts are important for wellbeing because beauty in life is evident everywhere. To ignore that, we begin to cause issues for ourselves and our community. The arts are needed to create a comforting platform, and in a world where suicide is one of the most common causes of death in teenagers and young adults age 15 to 29, we cannot ignore one of the most obvious forms of ‘medicine’: Creativity.