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Artistic Expression Could Literally Save Your Life

What should I write?

Here I am on this WordPress editor white screen, exhaling and feeling a form of reprieve even though I haven’t typed anything lengthy.

I feel I have forgotten how to write!

It’s not funny, really. But here I am, tinkering; how deep should I go? What should I write about? Do I have anything to say (yea, I do, but)? How should I say it?

Those are questions that hit you hard when you trying to express yourself or when you haven’t expressed yourself in a while.

Why should you express yourself?

Let’s check that on Google, shall we?

Something seems to be up on Quora: Why do humans need to express themselves?

A reply by Vaibhav Vardhan, Artist, is talking about evolution as a reason why humans need to express themselves. In prehistoric times, humans needed to communicate to survive, forming groups, tribes, and what we now know as civilization.

But this questions cuts deeper than an opinion on Quora. So let’s dig.

First thing that must be said here is that there are various forms of expression. There is linguistics, there is bodily expression, there’s symbolic expression (architecture, mathematics, and so on).

So there is a need to narrow down the question.

Why do we need to artistically express ourselves?

First, what is art?

After a bit of ninja style zigzag search, I found a satisfactory definition of art.

thefreedictionary.com defines art as the conscious use of the imagination in the production of objects intended to be contemplated or appreciated.

Phew!

That wasn’t so hard, was it?

Bottom line is, art is a production of imagination, meaning that, one first has to conceive of some artistic idea to create art, or maybe not.

What are the forms of artistic expression?

From williamsburglanding.org, some of the forms of artistic expression include:

  • Creative writing
  • Music
  • Painting and Drawing
  • Dance
  • Photography
  • Drama

To mention a few, of course.

So back our original question: Why should you express yourself?

Off the science books, artistic expression improves your mental health. It makes sense, right?

Various studies have shown that people with Alzheimer’s were better able to remember and retain information when said information was put in context of a song.

There is something about artistic expression that liberates the mind and thus has a positive effect on the body.

By the way, did you know that the right side of your brain is what's involved with artistic abilities?  

Studies have shown that artistic expression leads to increased serotonin levels in your brain, which also makes you feel good, akin to what you feel during sex. Yea, art is that strong.

So, besides improving your brain function and bodily health altogether, art makes you feel alive. Art transforms you, makes you feel otherworldly in a beautiful way.

To conclude this beautiful inquiry, I’ll leave you with strong words from Pablo Picasso himself.

“Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.”

~ Pablo Picasso

Talking about feeling good, I feel much better after writing this, way much better.

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