How arts can improve your mental health

The arts have an important role in promoting mental well being and creating a space for social connection. The relationship between arts and mental health is well established in the field of art therapy with art based techniques like painting, dancing and drama used as interventions for the treatment of mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. There is growing evidence to support that the arts can be used in wider contexts to support students and adults that are mentally well and want to maintain their sense of wellbeing.

Recent research has found that from brain imaging and biofeedback that creating art fosters a positive response to managing stress.  Parts of the brain other than those used for logical and linear thinking are activated. The arts engage the mind in a way that taps into our emotions in a healthy way to make us feel good.

The arts have been found to be an effective tool for mindfulness. Being mindful is being aware and conscious of your thoughts and state of mind without judgement.  The arts can also help at community level as well as for individuals, with social isolation being a widespread concern. Being involved in arts programs can create social connections, boost confidence and foster resilience.  This can be seen in the community that has been created by the cast and crew of the Beauty and the Beast. Positive relationships have been formed between the staff and students of the college and with staff and students from St Clare’s College and Canberra Girls Grammar School. The cast has had to deal with some significant adversities with the show being postponed earlier in the year due to covid and the uncertainty of whether the show would be able to be performed. The college is proud to be performing this year’s musical and sharing with you the magic of Beauty and the Beast.

Linda James
College Counsellor

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