This Creative Pursuit Lowers Cortisol And Relieves Stress

Posted on June 17, 2016

Dr Girija Kaimal, one of the study’s authors, said: “It was surprising and it also wasn’t. It wasn’t surprising because that’s the core idea in art therapy: Everyone is creative and can be expressive in the visual arts when working in a supportive setting.”

People of all ages in the study did some art for 45 minutes. They had their cortisol levels measured before and after (cortisol is often known as the ‘stress hormone’).

No instructions were provided: people were simply given things like modelling clay, collage materials, paper and markers.

For 75% of participants, cortisol levels were lower afterwards.

People also described their experience afterwards - "It was very relaxing. After about five minutes, I felt less anxious. I was able to obsess less about things that I had not done or need [ed] to get done. Doing art allowed me to put things into perspective.”

One-quarter, though, experienced a rise in cortisol levels.

Dr Kaimal said: "It could’ve been that the art-making resulted in a state of arousal and/or engagement in the study’s participants.”

The study was published in the journal Art Therapy (Kaimal et al., 2016).

To read the full article, click the link below.

Category(s):Art Therapy, Stress Management

Source material from Psyblog