A while back I subscribed to Salon Magazine online. As a reward I received a free one-year subscription to Cooking Light Magazine. I barely keep up with reading my current subscriptions and now--my favorite blogs, but I am enjoying this magazine and not just the recipes. In the January/February 2005 issue I found a small blurb that I have pasted into my journal to encourage me to continue the process of art even when the product is not always to my liking. Below I quote the blurb:
Sing, Dance or Paint Your Way to Better Health.
"Exercising your vocal cords--or dancing or joining a painting class--may provide health benefits similar to those associated with eating well and exercising, says a study from George Washington University's Center on Aging, Health and Humanities in Kensington, Maryland. Over three years researchers followed 300 men and women, ages 65 to 100; half belonged to a chorus or other groups engaged in painting, drawing, poetry, or creative writing, while the other half was not involved in active art groups.
Initial results were from evaluating those participated in chorus. After one year the singers, who practiced weekly and participated in 10 concerts per year, reported fewer trips to the doctor and fewer falls plus less medication use. They also felt less depressed than those who didn't belong to a chorus. The health boost, says study author Gene Cohen, M.D., Ph.D., director of GWU's Center on Aging, Health and Humanities, may stem from three factors: the sense of mastering an art, the social engagement and the sustained effects of a long-lasting group effort. The results, he notes, would hold true for younger artists, too."
I dabbled in drawing as a child and occupied as many--or more-- hours with a pencil and sketchpad as I spent running and playing. Now as an adult I've discovered journal writing, free-writing, watercolors, pastels, acryllics and Artist Trading Cards (ATC's) and photography. All of these provide meaningful use of time and occasionally an actual result that I share with others. I attribute a lot of my sense of well-being to the arts I pursue--and I am healthy.