Syrian journalist, scriptwriter, and now artist Zakiya Kurdi was watching TV one day when a report about an African artist who paints using sand came on. She was taken by the art form and began exploring and experimenting with it. Her first painting took several months to be finished. The process is quite lengthy; Kurdi begins by drawing with charcoal and colors the sand before using it in her pieces. Her portraits show women from different parts of the world. Although each is unique, what they share in common is that they all had a great effect on Kurdi, begging her to draw them.
We often wait for things or events to happen to make us feel happier, but we have the power to bring feelings of happiness, gratitude and satisfaction into our own lives. Here are three activities you can do today to increase your happiness:
1-Do five random acts of kindness- Studies have shown that doing five random acts of kindness in a single day and writing about how you felt after performing the acts lead to feelings of happiness. The acts can be anything from picking up trash to donating money, sharing food or smiling to a stranger.
2- Take an awe walk– Take time out to go for a walk and marvel at the beauty around you. Try going somewhere new and vast with beautiful nature or views.
3-Don’t forget to play- As we grow older, we no longer spend as much time playing. With technology and more time spent in school or structures activities, even children aren’t spending as much time playing. Play increases our creativity and problem solving skills and decreases our stress. Take some time today to do something you enjoy just for the fun of it. Lose track of time. Draw, color, play pretend, get out those board games, read, build legos, and explore!
The significance of reading differs from person to person depending on their inclinations and interests. Some may see it as a good and useful way of spending their free time, while others may see it as a life necessity. However, reading goes beyond being simply a means of enjoyment and gaining knowledge thanks to the many benefits it brings to mental health and capabilities.
In this article, we present to you five benefits of reading that can strengthen the mental capabilities and health of readers.
1. Strengthens Neuron Synapses
Reading is considered to be one of the activities that most motivates the brain to perform its functions and develops neurological communicative and analytical capabilities, especially in children and youth. It also strengthens the neuron synapses in the brain.
2. ِEnhances Focus
The processes the brain performs while reading and analyzing texts vary from reflection to thinking, imagining, analyzing, connecting phenomena with their concepts, which lead to more reflective and expressive writing and speaking, developing analytical skills and increasing focus.
3. Develops Creativity
Creative abilities are directly proportional to the amount of reading done, as reading enables the individual to think differently and to come up with the unprecedented as their horizon widens and their knowledge increases. Many mental health experts have drawn connections between the extent of creative skills development and amount of reading.
4. Activates Memory
As a mental activity and source of strengthening mental skills, regular reading reduces memory loss and lowers the risk of Alzheimer’s; some studies have shown that people with Alzheimer’s who read showed symptoms of the disease later compared to those who do not read.
5. Helps Fight Depression and Anxiety
Reading plays a role in reducing the levels of depression and anxiety because the reader gains new dimensions of thinking that may decrease certain negative thoughts they may have learned through social and personal experience. Reading is considered a resistor against simple neurological diseases, such as headaches and insomnia.
Have you ever looked at a tea biscuit or the end of a broom and thought, “I could turn this into art”? Well that’s the kind of art the 24-year-old Iraqi Ali Abd Alrazzaq creates. Using his drawing skills and everyday items, he creates simple yet clever art pieces. This creative political science major turns your favorite chips into the pyramids and half a shaved arm into a field. He describes his art as “interactive illustrations using everyday objects”. In addition to combining everyday objects and his drawing skills, Ali Abd Alrazzaq also replaces paint with tomatoes, coffee and shoe polish. With creativity like this, there’s no telling what wonderful art we’ll see from Ali next!
This article was originally published on BarakaBits on 27/08/2015.