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How Photography Benefits Mental Health

Taking care of your mental health is more important now than it ever was before. With the CDC guidelines encouraging quarantining, wearing face masks, and social distancing, people are feeling isolated and lonely, which in turn leads to an increase in anxiety, stress, and depression. To stave off these feelings, it’s recommended that you consider taking […]

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Dr. Colin Knight

Taking care of your mental health is more important now than it ever was before. With the CDC guidelines encouraging quarantining, wearing face masks, and social distancing, people are feeling isolated and lonely, which in turn leads to an increase in anxiety, stress, and depression. To stave off these feelings, it’s recommended that you consider taking up hobbies and establishing healthy coping mechanisms to get yourself through this difficult time. 

For some people, this can be baking, drawing, playing video games, or any other entertainment medium. However, if you want to see the world through a new perspective, photography is the way to go. It encourages creativity, helps you focus on everyday life, and acts as a form of expression you may not have had access to before. How else can photography help your mental health?

Overcome Social Anxiety

Photography encourages exploration and interaction, something that people with social anxiety might have a hard time dealing with. Street photography, in particular, is one way to overcome that anxiety because that forum is all about portraits

As a street photographer, you have to go up to someone and request to take their portrait, which could go well or poorly, depending on the person. However, a camera is a great icebreaker, and you’ll soon find that not only are you getting the shots you’re looking for, but you’re also connecting with other people as well. 

Note that you should still follow the CDC guidelines as a street photographer (wear your mask, social distance, etc.), but even when following these rules, you can still form connections with others you wouldn’t have before.

Reduce Stress and Anxiety

As mentioned earlier, photography is another form of communication and self-expression just waiting to be explored. Photographs can tell a story when you don’t have the words to tell it yourself, and they can invoke a variety of emotions from others depending on who they are and what their experiences in life have been. 

Most importantly, however, photographs have the power to heal. Since photos can invoke emotion, if you focus on distressing images constantly, you’ll likely be in a constant state of distress as a result. This encourages you to focus on the positives instead—calming oceans, peaceful forests, sleeping kittens—and let those feelings envelop you instead. 

Surrounding yourself with these emotions can work wonders in reducing any stress or anxiety that you would otherwise feel.

Originally published on DrColinKnight.net

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