By Jorge Rubal, CEO & Medical Director,
Laguna Beach Community Clinic
Did you know that vacations are something that doctors should consider prescribing? Studies have shown that doing so has demonstrable beneficial effects on your health. One of the best pieces of advice I have gotten is to always have your next two vacations planned. It ensures that in this ever-demanding world, we have an outlet, a goal, a way to minimize burnout. Just the anticipation of vacation can boost happiness.
Studies have also shown the tremendous benefits to taking a holiday, such as decreased stress, less risk of heart disease, a better outlook on life, and more motivation to achieve goals. If taken with your family, this has the added benefit of keeping relationships strong.
This is lucky for those of us who are fortunate enough to live in Southern California, which is viewed as a premier vacation destination. In particular, Laguna Beach offers much to experience. This is especially true during the summer, with a multitude of events involving the arts. An added benefit of the arts is that they are also good for our health. Studies show they are effective in improving both physiological and psychological well-being.
Music is the most accessible and most researched art medium. It has been shown to decrease anxiety and pain by calming neural activity in the brain. In many instances, music can be shared in group settings, which can also have beneficial effects on mood. Personally, music and dance is cultural, so it is an important part of cultural heritage as a Cuban American. Family functions always involved music and dance. Laguna is known for its rich music heritage.
Specifically, the following events are currently ongoing in town:
–Festival of Arts
–Laguna Beach Live!
–Music in the Park
–Even the clinic holds an event in October with a live band and dancing
Art can help people express experiences that are too difficult to put into words and thus can be a refuge for intense emotions. Engaging in the different types of visual arts can help in four ways. One, it allows a focus on positive life experiences. Second, it may enhance self-worth. Third, it can maintain social identity. Finally, it allows expression of feelings in a symbolic manner.
Movement-based creative expression has also been shown to decrease stress and anxiety. Movement can lead to increased range of motion, which may decrease fall risk as well as blood clots in the vessels. Exercise may aid in a positive body image, as well.
Health encompasses our physical, mental, and social well-being. The arts bring them all together in different capacities. Let’s take advantage of the amazing opportunities available in Laguna to be our best and healthiest selves.