Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Stress-related hormone cortisol lowers significantly after just 45 minutes of art creation

440px_Cortisol2_svg.png

Whether you’re Van Gogh or a stick-figure sketcher, a new Drexel University study found that making art can significantly reduce stress-related hormones in your body.

Although the researchers from Drexel’s College of Nursing and Health Professions believed that past experience in creating art might amplify the activity’s stress-reducing effects, their study found that everyone seems to benefit equally.


“It was surprising and it also wasn’t,” said Girija Kaimal, EdD, assistant professor of creative arts therapies. “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. That said, I did expect that perhaps the effects would be stronger for those with prior experience.”

The results of the study were published in Art Therapy under the title “Reduction of Cortisol Levels and Participants’ Responses Following Art Making.” Kendra Ray, a doctoral student under Kaimal, and Juan Muniz, PhD, an assistant teaching professor in the Department of Nutrition Sciences, served as co-authors.

“Biomarkers” are biological indicators (like hormones) that can be used to measure conditions in the body, such as stress. Cortisol was one such the hormone measured in the study through saliva samples. The higher a person’s cortisol level, the more stressed a person is likely to be.

F or Kaimal’s study, 39 adults, ranging from 18 to 59 years old, were invited to participate in 45 minutes of art-making. Cortisol levels were taken before and after the art-making period.

Materials available to the participants included markers and paper, modeling clay and collage materials. There were no directions given and every participant could use any of the materials they chose to create any work of art they desired. An art therapist was present during the activity to help if the participant requested any.

Of those who took part in the study, just under half reported that they had limited experience in making art.

 

The researchers found that 75 percent of the participants’ cortisol levels lowered during their 45 minutes of making art. And while there was some variation in how much cortisol levels lowered, there was no correlation between past art experiences and lower levels.

painting_702x336.jpg

Written testimonies of their experiences afterward revealed how the participants felt about the creating art.

“It was very relaxing,” one wrote. “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.”

However, roughly 25 percent of the participants actually registered higher levels of cortisol — though that wasn’t necessarily a bad thing.

“Some amount of cortisol is essential for functioning,” Kaimal explained. “For example, our cortisol levels vary throughout the day — levels are highest in the morning because that gives us an energy boost to us going at the start of the day. It could’ve been that the art-making resulted in a state of arousal and/or engagement in the study’s participants.”

Kaimal and her team believed, going into the study, that the type of art materials used by participants might affect cortisol levels. They thought that the less-structured mediums — using clay or drawing with markers — would result in lower cortisol levels than the structured — collaging. That, however, wasn’t supported by the results, as no significant correlation was found.

The study did find a weak correlation between age and lower cortisol levels. Younger participants exhibited consistently lower cortisol levels after they’d created art.

Those results made Kaimal wonder about how young college students and high school students deal with the stress that comes from academia — and how creative arts can help.

“I think one reason might be that younger people are developmentally still figuring out ways to deal with stress and challenges, while older individuals — just from having lived life and being older — might have more strategies to problem-solve and manage stress more effectively,” Kaimal said.

In light of that, Kaimal plans to extend the study to explore whether “creative self- expression in a therapeutic environment can help reduce stress.” In that study, other biomarkers like alpha amylase and oxytocin will also be measured to give a more comprehensive picture.

Additionally, Kaimal also plans to study how visual arts-based expression affects end-of-life patients and their caregivers.

“We want to ultimately examine how creative pursuits could help with psychological well-being and, therefore, physiological health, as well,” she said.

0a61f1029dfe699435720a0baba691b8.jpg


 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting, but not really surprising. The whole point of stress reduction is to do something that you like, and get fully immersed in it, thus simply forgetting the stressful things. Personally I don't stress about things at all, so I guess that lets me take my artistic stuff a bit more serious as it doesn't reverse the effect of it in the first place.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Cahoot said:

Interesting, but not really surprising. The whole point of stress reduction is to do something that you like, and get fully immersed in it, thus simply forgetting the stressful things. Personally I don't stress about things at all, so I guess that lets me take my artistic stuff a bit more serious as it doesn't reverse the effect of it in the first place.

I agree and think same. u lucky one if you dont get almost any stress lol. its really hard to not get stressed in everyday life. i gues doing something we like its like a gateway/exit point to relaxing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

this is true not only with creativity, but in performing any work that you like and absorbing you completely, even when listening to music or reading a book

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, sevko33 said:

I agree and think same. u lucky one if you dont get almost any stress lol. its really hard to not get stressed in everyday life. i gues doing something we like its like a gateway/exit point to relaxing.

I sure am! I think it's mainly because not only do have have a pretty stress free field of work, and because I actually like what I do for work, even if I happen to have bad days every now and then. Then I also try to fill my non-working hours with art (mainly music) and/or things that I'm interested in, so that way I tend to manage my stress levels pretty well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This post was quite interesting, it reminded me of someone telling me about going to a painting party. Or something of the sort to help relieve stress.

It seems to be vey popular. It think people paint and meet friends.  I don't think I would have the patience to do this activiity. 

I don't think I ever painted anything after high school. 

I may try something listed above to see how it feels after a stressful day.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Cahoot said:

I sure am! I think it's mainly because not only do have have a pretty stress free field of work, and because I actually like what I do for work, even if I happen to have bad days every now and then. Then I also try to fill my non-working hours with art (mainly music) and/or things that I'm interested in, so that way I tend to manage my stress levels pretty well.

yes thats important, if u dont like ur work than u have a problem. yes sure music helps alot and keep busy with things we like, could be painting,listen to the music, gardening etc.. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, sevko33 said:

yes thats important, if u dont like ur work than u have a problem. yes sure music helps alot and keep busy with things we like, could be painting,listen to the music, gardening etc.. 

Exactly. I tend to have music playing a lot during the day, even if I mainly do listen to podcasts, but if I need to get some work done, then music as a background noise is pretty essential. And the good thing about that as a musician is that I will subconsciously draw inspiration from what I hear, so it's definitely a big plus in my books!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/7/2018 at 9:55 AM, Creative-GML said:

This post was quite interesting, it reminded me of someone telling me about going to a painting party. Or something of the sort to help relieve stress.

It seems to be vey popular. It think people paint and meet friends.  I don't think I would have the patience to do this activiity. 

I don't think I ever painted anything after high school. 

I may try something listed above to see how it feels after a stressful day.

Yes, u should try and experience, :):) Art has its own dream world, where people get lost and forget about their sorrows, anger, stress :)

large.5a3757567c1f7_ghargharfb.jpg.324ef7dcabe75ad9e7fdfb4c98b279fb.jpg

Charcoal & Pastel on Paper

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, Teis91 said:

Not only making art lowers stress, I think looking/listening at/to art (depending on what art you like ofcourse) does that as well :) 

Yes, there are some paintings which give a lot of peace and solace just by looking at the stunning artwork. 

there was one special work in my collections, Buddha 2. I am very happy that I completed this painting after 3 months.

This gives me peace <3 <3 <3 

11902344_10153755933249928_7003009480799

Acrylic & Oil on Canvas

42 x 32 inches

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/6/2018 at 4:01 AM, sujithputhranartist said:

Stress-related hormone cortisol lowers significantly after just 45 minutes of art creation

440px_Cortisol2_svg.png

Whether you’re Van Gogh or a stick-figure sketcher, a new Drexel University study found that making art can significantly reduce stress-related hormones in your body.

Although the researchers from Drexel’s College of Nursing and Health Professions believed that past experience in creating art might amplify the activity’s stress-reducing effects, their study found that everyone seems to benefit equally.


“It was surprising and it also wasn’t,” said Girija Kaimal, EdD, assistant professor of creative arts therapies. “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. That said, I did expect that perhaps the effects would be stronger for those with prior experience.”

The results of the study were published in Art Therapy under the title “Reduction of Cortisol Levels and Participants’ Responses Following Art Making.” Kendra Ray, a doctoral student under Kaimal, and Juan Muniz, PhD, an assistant teaching professor in the Department of Nutrition Sciences, served as co-authors.

“Biomarkers” are biological indicators (like hormones) that can be used to measure conditions in the body, such as stress. Cortisol was one such the hormone measured in the study through saliva samples. The higher a person’s cortisol level, the more stressed a person is likely to be.

F or Kaimal’s study, 39 adults, ranging from 18 to 59 years old, were invited to participate in 45 minutes of art-making. Cortisol levels were taken before and after the art-making period.

Materials available to the participants included markers and paper, modeling clay and collage materials. There were no directions given and every participant could use any of the materials they chose to create any work of art they desired. An art therapist was present during the activity to help if the participant requested any.

Of those who took part in the study, just under half reported that they had limited experience in making art.

 

The researchers found that 75 percent of the participants’ cortisol levels lowered during their 45 minutes of making art. And while there was some variation in how much cortisol levels lowered, there was no correlation between past art experiences and lower levels.

painting_702x336.jpg

Written testimonies of their experiences afterward revealed how the participants felt about the creating art.

“It was very relaxing,” one wrote. “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.”

However, roughly 25 percent of the participants actually registered higher levels of cortisol — though that wasn’t necessarily a bad thing.

“Some amount of cortisol is essential for functioning,” Kaimal explained. “For example, our cortisol levels vary throughout the day — levels are highest in the morning because that gives us an energy boost to us going at the start of the day. It could’ve been that the art-making resulted in a state of arousal and/or engagement in the study’s participants.”

Kaimal and her team believed, going into the study, that the type of art materials used by participants might affect cortisol levels. They thought that the less-structured mediums — using clay or drawing with markers — would result in lower cortisol levels than the structured — collaging. That, however, wasn’t supported by the results, as no significant correlation was found.

The study did find a weak correlation between age and lower cortisol levels. Younger participants exhibited consistently lower cortisol levels after they’d created art.

Those results made Kaimal wonder about how young college students and high school students deal with the stress that comes from academia — and how creative arts can help.

“I think one reason might be that younger people are developmentally still figuring out ways to deal with stress and challenges, while older individuals — just from having lived life and being older — might have more strategies to problem-solve and manage stress more effectively,” Kaimal said.

In light of that, Kaimal plans to extend the study to explore whether “creative self- expression in a therapeutic environment can help reduce stress.” In that study, other biomarkers like alpha amylase and oxytocin will also be measured to give a more comprehensive picture.

Additionally, Kaimal also plans to study how visual arts-based expression affects end-of-life patients and their caregivers.

“We want to ultimately examine how creative pursuits could help with psychological well-being and, therefore, physiological health, as well,” she said.

0a61f1029dfe699435720a0baba691b8.jpg


 

 

this is a great drawing keep it up, but you started this with organic chemistry is there any relationship them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/8/2018 at 6:08 AM, sujithputhranartist said:

Yes, u should try and experience, :):) Art has its own dream world, where people get lost and forget about their sorrows, anger, stress :)

large.5a3757567c1f7_ghargharfb.jpg.324ef7dcabe75ad9e7fdfb4c98b279fb.jpg

Charcoal & Pastel on Paper

I agree with you, it also reduce tensions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
 
Cortisol
Cortisol2.svg
Cortisol-3D-balls.png
Names
IUPAC name
11β,17α,21-Trihydroxypregn-4-ene-3,20-dione
Identifiers
3D model (JSmol)
ChEBI
ChEMBL
ChemSpider
DrugBank
ECHA InfoCard 100.000.019
KEGG
PubChem CID
UNII
Properties
C21H30O5
Molar mass 362.460 g/mol
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
Infobox references
   


Cortisol is a steroid hormone, in the glucocorticoid class of hormones. When used as a medication, it is known as hydrocortisone.

It is produced in humans by the zona fasciculata of the adrenal cortex within the adrenal gland. It is released in response to stress and low blood-glucose concentration. It functions to increase blood sugar through gluconeogenesis, to suppress the immune system, and to aid in the metabolism of fatprotein, and carbohydrates.It also decreases bone formation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×