Appreciating Art as an Outlet for the Overworked

When you are working excessive hours and your concentration is failing viewing paintings may enliven your spirits, increase your vitality, and renew your ability to focus on your work.

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Career minded folks often overwork to prove themselves at their jobs and seek promotions. Excessive hours may seem productive but after a while they take their toll on the ability to concentrate, stay organized and meet your goals.

Looking for outlets that take your mind off your work and give you new learning experiences are helpful to renew your energy and go back to work with refound stamina and more creativity.

An excellent outlet is viewing art in galleries and museums. Dazzling abstracts or serene landscapes put you in a different zone from your daily work. You can wander slowly becoming a meticulous viewer of the paintings noticing how colors are interwoven, values of light and dark enhance the art work, and soon you find yourself contemplative about new and established art forms.

You don’t have to be an art expert to enjoy yourself. You can listen to docents on tours in a museum and chat with gallery owners about their displays. Soon you’re in another world apart from your working life.

Learn from the masters like Cezanne, Matisse, Degas and Manet. Notice how they visualize their landscapes and figures so differently. Their use of color is full of vitality and emotion. You can be swept away. Work has become distant. You are renewing your energy.

Study the abstract expressionists and immerse yourself in their colorful imaginations. You can spend endless time comparing paintings and seeing what suits you. As you emerge from your contemplation you will have liberated your mind from your work a day world and entered the fascinating world of expressive images.

Art work can transform you like a meditative experience. If you find your mind drifting back to work, let the thoughts pass through and refocus on the paintings before your eyes. Talk with a stranger about what they see in a painting and you will find you have returned to the present.

Diversions such as appreciating art and cultivating your personal tastes open up new vistas for you to emerge from. Now you are much more available to return to your work place with enlivened energy, creativity, increased productivity, and concentration. Plus you have new experiences to reflect on when you need a break from your work.

Your life has expanded. Your creativity has grown. You are a more vital person to yourself and those around you. Now you have that energy to seek a new promotion!

Laurie Hollman, Ph.D.
is a psychoanalyst and author of Unlocking Parental Intelligence: Finding
Meaning in Your Child’s Behavior
and an artist who paints in various
media and has shown her work in galleries in New York

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