Research: Reduction of Cortisol Levels and Participants’ Responses Following Art Making
Whether you are Modigliani or not, drawing or painting a few minutes per day can reduce the stress. The hormone that relates to anxiety which is cortisol.
A relative study of Drexel’s University ascertains that painting and handcrafts can benefit those who can paint or those who can’t. The finding is that 45 minutes of visual creation a day drastically reduce levels of cortisol (an anxiety-related hormone). In this study, 39 adults participated from the age of 18-59. The materials they used were paper, clay and collage materials. No instructions were given to the participants and any of them could use whatever material they wanted to create their own creation. An art therapist was present during the activity to help the participants- if they needed any help of him. Their cortisol levels were measured before and after the experiment and the researchers found that in 75% of the participants, the stress hormone decreased significantly during the 45-minute art. However, about 25% of participants reported high levels of cortisol – although this is not necessarily negative. “Some cortisol is necessary for our operation,” explains Professor Girija Kaimal. “For example, our cortisol levels are higher in the morning because this gives us an energy boost at the beginning of the day. This could mean that art created a state of excitement in participants.”
So, art heals and save us!
You can find the study here: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/07421656.2016.1166832?journalCode=uart20#.V2HutvkrKUk