Whether you’re performing the arts or viewing them, they have a great impact on your spiritual and mental health that nothing can compare to. A great way to experience the intellectual and meditative effects of the arts is to attend a festival, for example a short film festival like the Sarajevo Film Festival in Bosnia. The Sarajevo Film Festival is a large, star-studded event that will occur this year from August 14-22. Here at Health Fitness Revolution we believe that overall health is composed not only of physical fitness and nutrition, but also social, spiritual, and mental health. All of these elements of well-being must be addressed in order to have a balanced, healthy lifestyle.
Explore Your Mind – Exposure to the arts helps you work out your ability to be creative, which promotes problem solving and fostering connecting to each other and the world around us. There are so many different artistic outlets out there that it’s easy to find something perfect for every individual. Viewing the arts is a good way for people of all ages to explore their minds and their interests, and simply to get to know themselves. Understanding the processes of your own brain helps you connect to yourself and improves your emotional state as you know how to help yourself when you’re down.
Improve Focus – Immersing yourself in the arts allows you to escape the worries of life and concentrate on the creative energy of someone else’s mind. Being able to fully focus on something helps the mind simultaneously relax and expand, which will help you focus in other areas of life as well, such as improving your interpersonal relationships and mental health. Often people find it difficult to meditate without anything to focus on – even if it’s freeing themselves of thought. This process becomes much easier when you have an object of focus, and you just allow your thoughts to centralize on it until you have released thoughts of anything else.
Reduce Stress – Our minds focused on something outside of our personal and work lives, the senses are heightened and the mind is at peace. A lot of focus is required to notice details in any art form, and because of this, your mind is unable to become distracted and strung out. Both creativity and focus work together to help the mind become centered and serene. This attitude translates into other parts of life as well and encourages healthy relationships and an effective work ethic.
Communicate Non-Verbally – When you see a work of art, you become privy to the emotional experience of the artist in the moment that they created the piece. You may be able to relate to their experience, or you may find meditating upon your thoughts that arise to be a spiritual experience, or even both. Often we find that non-verbal communication between individuals is extremely powerful (i.e. “a picture is worth 1,000 words”). Communication is key to social, spiritual, and mental health and helps you thrive in school, work, and personal environments. Seeing the arts in action can often inspire you to create your own pieces as well, which can be extremely therapeutic. See the health benefits of painting and the health benefits of pottery for more information.
Promote Cultural Awareness – If you attend an international festival like the Sarajevo film festival in Bosnia, or if you go to an internationally famous museum like the Louvre, you will be exposed to artistic works from all over the world. A major component of culture is the arts. Each area of the world has unique artistic style and unique history to draw artistic inspiration from. You can learn so much about a place, its people, and its culture from seeing the arts from there, and this knowledge gives you the insight to form stronger relationships with people different than yourself.
Encourage Sociability – Whether you’re spending the afternoon in a museum with the family or going to a music festival with your best friends, one thing is clear. The arts bring people together. Being surrounded by people and bonding with them over the arts helps you to create a support system that will increase your emotional stability and improve your overall health. Mental and emotional health is dependent not only on personal stability, but also external stability in life and relationships. Sociability is necessary for this.
Increase Optimism – Seeing so much beauty in the world by exposing yourself to the arts allows you to see positive qualities in your surroundings everywhere you go, even the less-than-ideal elements and experiences in your life. This outlook makes you less susceptible to mental illness, and it also helps to cope with a variety of mental disorders as well. In short, it makes life a better experience, and who doesn’t want that?