Art and the diversity of emotions and brain function and human well-being

Does art – music, dance and poetry  – impact the brain and its structure? A growing body of scientific research confirms this, and Ivy Ross, vice president of hardware design at Google, adds that “creativity is about making new connections, new synapses in the brain”. A growing number of researchers believe that the changes experienced through learning a song, dance or playing an instrument better prepare the brain for new skills, including those in maths and science. Artistic activities are particularly important for the all-around development of a child’s brain.

According to a study authored by researchers at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, experiencing a diversity of emotions from enthusiasm and determination to sadness and fear – known as emodiversity – enables people to better adapt to different situations throughout the day. The daily emotional ups and downs help to define for therapists and patients who they are, who they would like to be and what path they should take to achieve this.

How sufferers of frequent anxiety can reinforce pleasant feelings in themselves? The SkillJoy phone application prompts users several times a day and at random intervals to focus on the exact moment of pleasant things – meeting a friend, making someone laugh or a great song – and really “savour” what they are thinking about for a few minutes. According to the study results, after seven days of using the SkillJoy app, those using it were worrying less than before they first used it.

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