The next time have stress — when your anxieties turn from passing sensations in the brain to rude house guests overstaying their welcome — I highly recommend breaking out your construction paper, model clay, glitter glue, feathers and pipe cleaners.
“I’m not an artist!” you might protest. Honestly, it does not matter. Science says so.
More specifically, Girija Kaimal, assistant professor of creative arts therapies at Drexel University, says so. Kaimal recently led a study examining the effects of making art on stress-related hormones in your body.
In the future, Kaimal hopes to repeat the admittedly small study and test for additional biomarkers such as alpha amylase and oxytocin to get a fuller picture of the participants’ inner states before and after therapeutic art-making.
In the meantime, though, Kaimal’s results confirm what art junkies around the world know very well: Making art is actually, factually, good for the body, mind and soul. Even if said art resembles the deranged scribbles of a grumpy toddler.