6 SCIENTIFICALLY PROVEN BENEFITS OF ART
“Art washes from the soul the dust of everyday life.”- Pablo Picasso
Art has been a huge part of the human experience since ancient times. We have always created, enjoyed and valued art. And for good reasons. Even though everyone appreciates art in their own personal way, there are also scientifically proven ways that art benefits us. Here are some of the fascinating studies I’ve found.
1. ART CAN OPEN OUR MINDS AND HEARTS
One study of over 10,000 students found that a visit to an art museum made them more able to empathize with people of the past. They also expressed greater tolerance towards people different than themselves.
2. ART CAN FEEL LIKE BEING IN LOVE
Have you ever looked at a piece of art and felt a rush of wellbeing? Well, brain scans have shown that looking at works of art that we enjoy increases blood flow to the part of our brain that deals with romantic love. In other words, looking at art can feel like looking at someone you love. This fact alone might be a good reason to fill your home with art!
3. ART CAN SPARK CREATIVITY AND IMAGINATION
Art helps us daydream. We tend to want to step into an artwork, imagining ourselves in the scene. This process in our brain is very powerful, and can make the experience feel almost real. For example, if you're looking at landscape painting, you might almost feel the wind in your face or hear birds singing.
Not only can this experience be pleasurable, it also exercises our creative abilities.
4. ART CAN MAKE US SMARTER
Our brain is naturally wired to look for patterns, symbols and meaning in art. The more complex an image, the more our brain works to decipher it. This way of looking at art can feel almost like solving a puzzle. It breaks down mental barriers, expands our perspective and help us understand the world better.
5. ART EXERCISES OUR INTUITION
It’s nearly impossible to look at art and remain indifferent. When neuroscientists in New York University studied people’s reactions to art, they found that we subconsciously decide whether we like or dislike a piece of art in under 330 milliseconds - roughly the length of a camera flash. Viewing art exercises our gut intuition, opinion making, and introspective thought.
6. ART CAN LOWER STRESS
Looking at art can not only make you feel more relaxed, it can physically lower your stress hormones. This was shown in a University of Westminster study on workers taking a lunchtime break to visit an art gallery.
Isn’t it amazing that our love for art can be backed up by science! All the more reason to surround ourselves with beauty of our own choosing, don’t you think? Apart from the aspects above there are also numerous well-studied benefits of creating art yourself. We will explore these in a future post and you can step inside my creative process in other blog posts here.
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