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Community Health: Education, Prevention & Inspiration

Stress the arts to promote health

metal bins with art supplies

The arts play an important part in our lives and health. Creative expression and art appreciation connect us to the world and help us learn, teach, and communicate. Growing research indicates that art promotes physical and mental well-being and helps the body and mind heal and unwind. Music, dance, painting, drawing, writing, or other forms of artistic expression awaken our senses and emotions regardless of age or social background. They can brighten our days, take us back to a moment in our past, lift our spirits, and encourage social interaction. 

Simple pleasures, such as coloring, chalk drawing, and painting, brought many of us joy when we were young. It allowed us to express our emotions and had the power to change the way others felt just by looking at our artwork. When we were sad or wanted to cheer others up, we drew or colored a picture for them. The use of different media and vibrant colors engaged our senses while helping us express our feelings and thoughts. 

Doodling helps improve concentration and can relieve stress. Instead of letting our minds wander, doodling helps the person focus on what is being said. Students who doodle remember what was presented in lectures more than those who do not. Doodling with repetitive lines or marks calms the body and mind. 

Music can stimulate memories. It connects us to our past, to people and places we knew. It improves our mood and boosts our physical activity. It can inspire us to exercise and increase our endurance when working out. Listening to music can reduce heart rate, lower blood pressure, and decrease cortisol levels, helping reduce stress. 

Depending on the nature of the activity, the arts can connect us to people, increase physical activity, reduce stress, boost memory, improve mood, and allow us to express our thoughts and feelings. Try something on your own or with your family! You do not need many supplies. Start doodling with pen and paper; locate all the broken crayons you have lying around and draw a picture; turn up the volume of the radio in your car and sing your heart out! Whatever you choose to do, pay attention to how it makes you feel and if you like it, keep at it! 



Veronica Aranda strives to enhance the well-being of families and communities by improving a person’s understanding of healthy habits and behaviors and facilitating access to health and educational resources. Although Veronica enjoys working with people across the lifespan, her primary audience has been older adults and parents of school-age children. Through her program Stressing the Arts, she helps participants engage in the use of music and the creation of visual arts to manage stress, think positively, build self-esteem, and enhance self-care. Her bilingual skills allow her to provide health education programming in English and Spanish.