As people age, they sometimes begin to feel like they don’t have a lot of things to keep them happily occupied. They may begin to feel depressed or underappreciated because they think they no longer contribute to their community, and not having a good hobby can worsen these feelings.
According to a study published in the Journal of Aging Studies, study participants, aged 60 to 93, identified six features of successful aging: a sense of purpose, interactions with others, personal growth, self-acceptance, autonomy, and health. Creative activities, such as writing, painting, or knitting, encourage a sense of competence, purpose, and growth—all of which contribute to aging well.
One of the best ways to keep yourself happily occupied is by taking up painting. There are many benefits that you’ll gain from staying creative, and a lack of experience is not a barrier to enjoyment. Whether you’re picking up the brush for the first time, or returning to an old favorite hobby, the benefits include improved moods, better hand-eye coordination and an outlet for emotions through creative expression.
Participating in artistic activities also bolsters problem-solving skills, as you work to put what you see in front of you, or in your mind’s eye, onto the blank canvas. And this will bring a satisfaction that you can carry over into everyday life. You develop a sense of pride in what you’ve created, especially when you share it with your friends and family!
Psychologically, the benefits of creating things is fulfilling and gives people a sense of worth and contribution; creating gives people a more positive outlook on life, and as we age, having the a negative outlook can cause mental and physical deterioration.
Many seniors shy away from creative activities because they feel as though they are not creative enough or are not artistic; however, even novices can be creative with the right approach. By taking a painting class, you’ll find yourself surrounded with those who are new to the art form as well. Visiting an art museum can inspire you, and you might find yourself testing out your skills as you interpret the pieces you saw. One must always remember that abstract art is a wonderful form of painting in which you can focus more on using colors, shapes, and designs that express your emotions in a unique way. And there’s no training necessary for that!
Surprisingly, it is shown that regular participation in the creative arts yields a significant increase in overall physical health. In addition to fighting negativity, as noted above, those seniors who regularly engage in art programs actually have better physical health than those who do not.
In one study, after a twelve month period of engaging in participatory art activities, those who participated reported a higher rate of physical health, fewer accidental falls, a decrease in the amount and types of medications they needed, and a decrease in the number of times they needed to visit the doctor or other healthcare professional. A control group—comprised of similarly situated seniors who did not participate in the art activities—did not report the same benefits.
This study shows a definite correlation between participation in a regular creative art activity and increased physical health. As such, involving yourself in painting, drawing, and the like, will improve your quality of life and act as a way of preserving your physical health and well-being.
It would be well worth your time to enroll in some sort of arts program. One such place would be one of the Seniors First Adult Day Programs, where a variety of beneficial classes are offered at a reasonable price. Check them out here, and discover the benefits and the power of creativity in your life!