Getting lost in a piece of art can provide a reprieve when the craziness of life gets to be too much. We can’t always get away to some quiet place. That’s when a piece of art can supply a much needed refreshing for the soul. Whether abstract, realist or Impressionist, a painting can take you away from reality for a while, give you something carefree to focus on. Even it’s only for a few short minutes, that may be all you need to get refreshed enough to tackle the next issue facing your day.
The Naples Art District has a great article on the healthful benefits of viewing art saying, “Art…can help take one’s mind off of stressful things in his or her life.” Park West Gallery cites recent studies and research that “have proven that a trip to the art gallery or a museum can positively impact your health and well-being in several essential ways, like lowering anxiety and depression and boosting critical thinking skills.” Well, I better get to viewing more art! I need some critical thinking skills!
Even better, ArtThou in the UK says viewing art can improve your mental health. “Looking at art can cause increases in dopamine, the pleasure hormone, to be released, which helps to reduce stress and in turn leads to lowered rates of anxiety and depression.” We better hurry and get more art out there because there are some serious mental health issues plaguing our world today. It’s encouraging to note that art can help. Anywhere art can be part of the solution, and not the problem is a good thing.
In my own research, the Art to Heart Project published in MedSurg Nursing we found healing benefits to viewing art in the hospital. Still the thing I am most proud of in my life, in the Art to Heart Project, we found viewing art created by the hospital staff made a difference in the lives of cardiac surgery patients, as well as the staff who created the art and the people who worked on the unit. With all this research floating around, it seems that the thing to do is get out and look at art. Or even better, make art!