Explore The Healing Power of Art at The Estelle Center

June 2024 | Art Therapy
by Marilyn Heywood Paige

Art is a transformative form of expression that goes beyond creating artistic items. It offers a unique way to explore your inner thoughts, emotions, and experiences. The Estelle Center for Creative Arts in La Veta, Colorado, provides a safe space for self-exploration and healing through various art forms, which can enhance your overall well-being.

Benefits of Art as Therapy

Self-Expression and Communication

Art provides a non-verbal means of communication, which can be particularly healing for those who struggle to express their feelings in words. By using colors, shapes, textures, fabrics, and imagery, individuals can convey their thoughts and emotions outwardly. This process allows them to voice inner conflicts, traumas, or stresses that may be difficult to articulate verbally. Engaging in artistic activities can free individuals to explore their inner world, gain insight into their emotions, and improve their moods.

Irene Roderick Painter Turned Quilter

Stress Reduction

Cortisol is a stress hormone released when a person experiences stress or anxiety. When cortisol levels are high, the body prioritizes dealing with stress over normal bodily functions. 
Creating art can reduce cortisol levels in the body and it can be a form of meditation. Partaking in a creative process redirects focus away from stressors and provides mental relief. People who engage in art therapy report more relaxation, mindfulness, and a sense of calmness that contributes to stress relief and emotional well-being.
“A systematic review of 37 studies on art therapy found that art therapy interventions reduced stress levels for around 80 percent of participants.” Creating art, whether as a hobby or a career, has the potential to reduce cortisol levels.


Cognitive Function

When you focus on choosing colors for your quilt or painting, you’re using critical thinking skills that help keep your brain sharp. This can be especially therapeutic in aging individuals. 
The American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine asserts that, “Art allows people to enter a “flow state,” or that feeling when you’re in the zone and lose sense of yourself and of time. Making art can help you be more present, and it activates a variety of networks, including relaxed reflective state, focused attention, and pleasure.
Various areas of the brain are engaged during artistic activities such as memory recall, problem-solving skills, and attention span. 

Irene Roderick Quilt

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