Joy | 100 x 100 cm | mixed on canvas
Einstein knew that “art furnishes with happy feelings to the extent, that cannot be derived from other realms”. I also truly believe that art empowers, gives joy, pleasure and enlightens our lives.
Now it’s neuroscientists turn to prove what we knew for centuries is true… Here are some awesome results that I’ve found.
1. Art brings as much joy as a loved one
Professor Semir Zeki, chair in neuroaesthetics at University College London, conducted an experiment. He showed 30 paintings to dozens of randomly selected people (most of which had no previous interest in art). He found out that when someone liked a painting, the blood flow in the part of the brain responsible for pleasure and desire was instantly increasing. The increase was by 10% – which is an equivalent of an increase when looking at a loved one.
Professor Zeki said: “What we are doing is giving scientific truth to what has been known for a long time – that beautiful paintings make us feel much better”.
That’s powerful! Art evokes the same reaction as the loved one!
2. Art boosts creativity
Business Insider writes that looking at art triggers your brain to be open to learning, which is directly connected with openness to experience. And the more open you are to experience, the more likely you are to do great creative work in your career. Openness to experience is found to be the most common thread among the highest-achieving scientists, artists, and novelists: they’re more open than the rest of us.
Art automatically triggers this genius quality in our brain – we just need to spend time around art. Isn’t it amazing?
3. Experiencing art rapidly decreases stress levels
A study from University of Westminister shows that a brief lunchtime visit to an art gallery rapidly decreased the level of stress hormone – cortisol, within a group of city workers. Participants reported high level of stress level before entering the gallery and declared significant reduction of stress after 35 min visit.
If you suffer from anxiety, sleep problems and memory impairment, the root cause is high level of stress. This study shows, looking at art can help eliminate those health problems.
The most amazing outcome for me is that you don’t need to be an expert to enjoy the empowering effects art has on us. It’s freaking amazing! All these studies were done on people that didn’t have big knowledge on art. In many cases they didn’t understand the painting and knew nothing about the artist.
You can experience joy, pleasure, reduce your stress and increase your creative abilities just by looking at works of art that appeal to you.
Now a challange 😉
Visit a gallery or a museum this week! Walk around and pay special attention to art that appeals to you… Ignore paintings that you consider boring, and that have no effect on you. Focus on art that attracts you. Is it a painting, a sculpture, an installation? What type of painting? Is it a landscape? An abstract art? Are you attracted by colours? Textures? A particular topic?
All this will help you understand better the type of art that has the most meaningful and powerful impact on you.
Have you experienced any breakthrough after the visit? Leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you
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Business Insider, The Telegraph, Arts Mic