May 7, 2013

How Creative Expression Improves Your Health


When I get super busy, one of the first things to go is my exercise regime. I usually try and run or do a cross fit workout before I even get to the studio. The thinking goes that I will be in a better frame of mind and therefore will be able to make stronger work. My art will turn out better. And I will be just happier. Maybe this is all just a justification for playing outside, but actually I always believed that my running was linked directly to the quality of my creative expression.

Over the past few months I have been making a whole new body of work for an upcoming show in NYC.  I unfortunately fell so far behind during this time that my exercise schedule became fractured. I just simply did not have enough time. At first I thought this would make everything more difficult and that my mood would spiral downward along with my paintings I was trying to create.

Surprisingly, this just didn’t happen. In fact I actually felt fine and had tons of energy.

The more I thought about this the more I wondered why?

I realized that it had to do with the kind of activity or work I was involved with…if it is creative, then there is a certain amount of wellness and a feeling of vitality one gains from personal expression and creativity.

I was fortunate enough to get an advanced copy of my friend Dr. Lissa Rankin’s new Book Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof That You Can Heal Yourself.


I loved this book. It was nice to have confirmation about the role of creativity in maintaining happiness and health in your life.

Lissa gives scientific proof that expressing yourself creatively, releases endorphins and other feel-good neurotransmitters. It Reduces depression and anxiety, improves immune function, naturally relieves pain, decreases your heart rate and blood pressure, lowering your risk of heart

disease, improves sleep, results in fewer doctor’s visits and lower medication use, improves your vision, improves outcomes in patients with cancer and even reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s disease!

There are many challenging aspects involved with art making. It is nice to know that there are some sweet side effects to being creative!

If you are interested or would like to read the first chapter of Lissa’s book, visit

How has expressing your creativity improved your health? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

Nicholas Wilton

Hi! I’m
Nicholas Wilton
the founder of Art2Life.

With over 20 years experience as a working artist and educator, I’ve developed a systematic approach that brings authenticity, spontaneity and joy back into the creative process.

Join me and artists from all over the world in our Free Art2Life Artists Facebook Group or learn more here about Art2Life.

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