Can Religious Art Improve Mental Health?
Art therapy is known to improve mental health, but does the type of art make a difference?
Experts say religious artwork inspiration during therapy sessions has even greater results.
Involved with the growing devotion of living a healthy lifestyle, many people trust in their faith to support them during stressful circumstances. Prayer, meditation, and sharing life with fellow believers can help people overcome illnesses, natural disasters, or cope with losing a loved one.
The Challenge: Staying Mentally Balanced
People dealing with daily pain and fatigue start to build frustration, thus leading to depressed thoughts of feeling defeated and disturbed with how the rest of their life is being affected by their health. When health is not balanced, life becomes unbalanced as well.
Art therapy has been used to help people have more control over physical and emotional pain, and is also an activity that does not involve much physical ability – which is good for patients lacking energy or those unable to leave their hospital bed.
It was observed in the study that was conducted by the London School of Economics and Erasmus University Medical Center in the Netherlands, going to church, mosque or any other religious gathering regularly provides reliable boosts in mental welfare than joining an activity group such as book club, sports team or a political organization.
Mauricio Avendano, an epidemiologist, conducted a study that analyzed around 9,000 Europeans over 50 years of age for four years observed that churches play a crucial role in keeping depression at bay and also provides a coping mechanism during times of illness in later life. According to Jennifer Harstein, American psychologist, the findings were not surprising. No other types of activities have so profound and long-lasting impact on people’s life as religion has.
Everyone Needs Art Therapy
Although extreme cases are mainly publicized, you don’t need to be bed ridden to enjoy the benefits of religiously themed art exploration. Spontaneous art therapy experienced personally can be just as helpful as professional treatment.
Common stressors of work or school can take over the emotional state of an individual. The International Art Therapy Organization says the power of art often helps people gain control over their anger, depression, or anxiety. If you are currently overwhelmed with stress, or when emotions disrupt your life, remember to find a way to express your feelings through an art form. Many of us already stay emotionally balanced by playing guitar, writing in a personal journal, or painting a picture.
Youthful Art In Action
Enjoying childhood can be taken for granted until health hinders the ability to play with friends, go to school, or travel. When children spend months, or even years, in a hospital for painful treatments, experiencing art can help with their state of mind. Having patients paint or draw opens an outlet to unleash their feelings and enjoy time without ever leaving the hospital bed. The International Art Therapy Organization says that creating art helps the children relieve stress and feel normal again.
Reader – What type of art do you like to express your feelings?
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Next Read: Study Finds Art & Music Can Increase Life Expectancy
(H/T) Ways Religious Art Therapy Can Help Improve Mental Health
(H/T) Cross photo: source