Art has proven its forte against stress and anxiety, and the claim is based on numerous scientific research. But, here, when we talk about art reducing stress, we don’t just mean indulging in art by yourself. Even just watching an artwork can take away loads off your mind, leaving you nothing but relaxed.
Researchers have always been fascinated with the effects of art on the human mind and the reasons why this has been an exciting area of research for over 20 years. The findings turned out to be more surprising than anticipated. Studies found watching paintings, drawings or viewing artworks helped to prevent memory loss, stimulated neuron growth in the brain, and raised mental health
and increased the secretion of a good feeling hormone called dopamine, all that contributes to a person’s sense of well being.
Watching or experiencing artworks lightens the mood
By lightened mood means a low level of induced stress or anxiety. The University of Westminster conducted a study where participants were sent to visit an art gallery during lunchtime. Participants were asked to record their stress levels before visiting the place — each person spent upto 35 minutes inside, exploring and observing artworks created by amazing people. There were no restrictions on how to spend their time in there. When they got out, they reported their stress levels to be way lower than it was before. Also, their body had low cortisol levels, a hormone responsible for stress.
Art and Humans Have Always been Friends
Art and humans can be dated back to the beginning of civilization. Art has always been a medium to express your most profound and unfathomable emotion. The new world isn’t different either, we people still find relaxation in artworks. Oshin Vartanian, a neuroscientist, conducted over a dozen studies where participants were made to look at art for many different reasons to recorded their brain activity. She observed that people engaging in art had the same areas of brain functioning that activates when a person is experiencing an emotion. Even the system associated with reward and pleasure were responding similarly to when watching artworks. There’s a particular part in a brain that allows us to understand things, and the same part reacts positively when a person is experiencing art.
The researchers used fMRIs (Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging) to take a read of participants’ neural networks during the leisure time. Brain’s Anterior insula and putamen region of the brain lightened during the study, signifying a satisfactory and stress relieving relation with art. It also means that anyone with intellect can comprehend art and paintings and what story is contained.
Museums Are Good Mental Health Booster
Remember the good old days when people used to visit museums without knowing its benefits? Well, they do now. A trip to museum can do wonders for person’s mental health; from reducing anxiety to lowering stress levels to making you feel less lonely. When people visit museum, they come across different cultures and somehow they benefit from it. So, if you are feeling a bit tired and stressed, going to museum will most definitely make you feel better.
If your lifestyle is hectic and you cannot spare time to yourself, you would appreciate having good paintings or artworks at home. You don’t have to spend millions of dollars, a simple piece of art can be bought at a very less price. You’d be surprised to see how cheerful it can turn you into. And if you are updated with technology, you’d know buying expensive artworks is now easy. Well, even if you couldn’t afford the whole price tag by yourself, you might as well want to buy a few shares and see the painting whenever you want to.