Leadership Lesson – February 2023: Adding Art Activities to Your Daily Routine Can Benefit Heart Health

February 9, 2023

Words of advice from leaders on the front lines.
This month’s leadership lesson is from Janice Hidalgo, Regional Lead of Chronic Disease Management Programs.

Adding Art Activities to Your Daily Routine Can Benefit Heart Health

As part of raising awareness about cardiovascular prevention during Heart Health Month, I wanted to share how integrating art activities into your routine may benefit your heart and overall health. Art has proven to be an essential tool for therapeutic means and rehabilitation medicine.

According to Christianne Strang, a professor of neurosciences at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and former president of the American Art Therapy Association, “Creativity in and of itself is important for remaining healthy, remaining connected to yourself, and connected to the world.”

Any activity that requires creative expression helps you communicate your thoughts and feelings in new ways and engages the brain’s neuroplasticity, assisting patients in recovering from traumas such as stroke.

Creating art helps:

  • Lower stress by reducing cortisol levels.
  • Create a deep focus and enter a “flow state,” which makes you more present.
  • Process emotions by expressing feelings and memories in ways other than words.

Before you tell yourself that you don’t have an artistic bone in your body, remember that art is subjective. It’s whatever you want and enjoy. The purpose is not to create artwork that belongs to a particular era in history. The goal is for YOUR masterpiece to make YOUR heart happy.