7 Ways the Arts Can Benefit Your Health

how the arts can benefit your health

Since the dawn of time (or so it seems), our society has been health-crazed. In 2008, Gwyneth Paltrow introduced us to Goop and it seems that since then everyone and their mother has been dying to know what the latest health and wellness fad is. Even before that, society has been filling cable programs and thick, glossy magazines with exercise routines and diet plans.  Working towards your best you is highly commendable; however, as we sign up for barre classes and read articles on kale-inclusive diets, do we ever stop and wonder if we’re missing something?

Something that’s been accessible all along?

Eating well and exercise are absolutely imperative to your overall well-being, as is your mental health. Art is an often overlooked entity that can benefit you mentally and emotionally. The following seven examples prove that art can be valuable to your overall state of health and wellness. Read More


The Science Behind Adult Coloring & 9 Reasons Why We Should Keep the Therapeutic Trend Going

Art therapy for adults

Photo via article on meditative coloring at: vitals.lifehacker.com

Every year we are exposed to a selection of exciting and innovative trends and 2016 has been no exception. While 2015 brought us the man bun and Adele’s latest album, 2016 has seen a spike in usage of the lemon emoji (thank you, Beyoncé), flowing bohemian blouses and…adult coloring books? What used to be a staple for busy parents and babysitters everywhere to entertain children is now targeting adults and currently one of 2016’s biggest trends. And we’re hoping it sticks.

Although art itself may not be able to cure diseases, art therapy has been used as a coping strategy for years. A 2006 study found that women with cancer who participated in art therapy experienced a significant decrease in symptoms of physical and emotional distress. Art therapy is also a useful coping strategy for diseases other than cancer such as anxiety, depression, dementia and PTSD. Read More


Celebrating Mind & Muscle: When the Olympics Awarded Medals for the Arts

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The Olympic Rings sculpture on Brazil’s famous Copacabana Beach is made entirely of recycled plastic: uniting athletics, the arts, and environmental awareness. Photo via http://www.rio2016.com.

 

Vancouver. London. Sochi. And now, Rio de Janeiro.

Each night, millions have been tuning in to the leading international sporting event featuring the world’s best athletes. However, few are aware that during the first half of the 20th century, the modern Olympics included arts competitions.

According to the New York Times, Baron Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the IOC, from which the modern Olympics emerged in 1896, believed that muscle and mind (sports and the arts) were intrinsically connected. Read More


The Health Benefits of Dancing & Where to Dance in Hartford

Photo: Arien Wilkerson, TNMOT AZTRO

Dance has a way of letting us lose ourselves in the moment and connect with our bodies in ways that we sometimes forget about after a long day. Everyone has at least one song that gets them moving even if it’s just bouncing around to their favorite tune while waiting in for the red light to change.

Numerous studies have shown the benefits of dancing. One of the perks of dancing is that it can be gentle on body and anyone can do it. If you feel the dancing you are doing is too intense you can dance to something that is slower in tempo. Unlike other exercise trends, you come equipped with everything that you need to begin. You can begin exploring dance with what make you comfortable. You can even start in your own living room if you truly want to dance like no one is watching. Hartford dancer, Arien Wilkerson, Artistic Director of TNMOT AZTRO, has a great blog piece on how sensation and environment inspire the fusion of dance, fashion and visual media in his work. Read More


Art Galleries & Museums to Visit in Greater Hartford

museums and galleries in hartford

Artspace

As one of the top ten most artsy states in the country, Connecticut has a plethora of art museums, galleries, and community arts centers just in Greater Hartford alone. We’re so proud to support many of these centers on this list as they continue to provide thought-provoking exhibits, art classes for people of all ages, and fun events that bring people together. While you may have already created your New Year’s resolutions for 2016, we hope you’ll consider visiting more museums too. After all, tons of scientific literature supports the theory that looking at art enhances mood, decreases inflammation, and improves overall mental and emotional health. And arts therapy is regularly used for veterans and Alzheimer’s patients to promote healing and mindfulness, respectively. So, why not visit a museum at least once a month this year? Share your visits with us on Instagram using #LetsGoArts and we’ll share your photos with our audience.  Read More


Art is Aetna’s Healthy

Aetna Employee Art Show-- 2014

Aetna Employee Art Show– 2014

Last year Aetna launched a new campaign asking people “What’s Your Healthy?” to inspire people to make healthier choices when it came to food, exercise, hobbies, and other  life choices.  When we were asked that question, we thought long and hard and decided that Hartford’s healthy was art.  After all, it’s in our name!  Aetna has long been a supporter of the arts in the Greater Hartford community, and it only makes sense since art and health go hand in hand.  Art reduces stress.  Art can lower blood pressure.  Art has been used in Alzheimer’s and dementia therapy.  We could go on and on, but you understand what we’re saying.  Art is our healthy, and Aetna reinforces that fact by practicing what it preaches. Read More


A Great Day for a 5k

Voya 5k group photo

Voya, formerly known as ING, has done it again!  For the 7th year, Voya held a 5k run/walk around their Windsor campus to support the Greater Hartford Arts Council and over 150 arts, heritage, and cultural organizations in our communities during their Workplace Campaign.  Though the rain on Thursday postponed the race to Friday, the weather could not have been more perfect for an end-of-the-work-week 5k.  Over 70 employees participated through donating, running, walking, and volunteering.  They decorated their “Dash for the Arts” t-shirts to show their support and creativity, and then they took off for the finish line! Read More