Do you have a secret stash of adult coloring books? Are you someone who likes to stroll around the museum on a regular basis? Have you taken up knitting or drawing lately? Good for you! Engaging in the arts, and even what is considered to be arts and crafts, is not just child’s play. According to studies, including one published in the British Medical Journal, people who engage in art activities monthly increase their life expectancy by as much as 10 years.
No Talent Required
If your immediate reaction to this topic is, “I’m no artist,” you’re not off the hook. You don’t have to have any specific talent to engage in the arts. The only requirements are a willingness to play and a sense of curiosity.
Art is, in this case, defined as anything that engages your senses. So, whether you cook, dance, knit, write, or garden – it counts. In fact, the research shows that even just being an admirer of the arts – like appreciating good music or paintings – can add both life to your years and years to your life.
The Science Says
Science has told us that there is no need to master anything to reap the benefits of indulging in the arts. Just 20 minutes of playing with clay, doodling, humming, or making a collage – you name it – will result in lowering stress and improving your mood.
According to Susan Magsamen, founder and director of the International Arts + Mind Lab at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine’s Pedersen Brain Science Institute, “We are literally physically hardwired for these arts and aesthetic experiences.”
It doesn’t matter if you’re creating, thinking about, viewing, or performing art. According to Magsamen and co-author, Ivy Ross, in their book Your Brain on Art: How the Arts Transform Us, regardless of how you experience art, once you experience the awe and wonder you will also experience significant physical effects.
That quickening pulse, heightened awareness, or shiver causes us to stop analyzing. The resulting peak experience leads to stronger neural pathways, enhanced creativity and curiosity, and connection to others.
So, put your fears of not being productive aside and spend 20 minutes (or more) a day doing something great for your healthy longevity. Get creative! Find the artist – or art aficionado – within today!
A 100 Year Lifestyle provider will help keep you enjoying your newfound creativity at 100% for 100 Years or more. Find one near you!