Is it true that art reduces stress naturally? Just imagine the scenario where your doctor sends you to a museum instead of the pharmacy! More and more studies are confirming this phenomenon – that your environment plays a significant role in your overall health. And now with more than half of the world’s population living in cities, finding natural ways to relieve stress should be a priority. City life can be extremely stimulating, lots of culture to experience, diversity in population, and opportunities for wealth and education. The downside is that studies have shown that more people experience depression, anxiety, and other stress related disorders in cities. The most common complaint about city life is how disconnected people feel.
We are surrounded by so many and yet we can still feel so lonely. Being in nature, on the other hand, softens these feelings of loneliness and distress:
When nature captures people’s attention, the executive system that regulates directed attention gets to rest, pessimistic thoughts are blocked, and negative emotions are replaced by positive ones (1)
We feel connected when we are in nature. We feel like we belong. The fresh air, the greenery, the open sky offer a respite from the hustle and bustle of city life.
The good news is that we can create a home environment that recreates the benefits of nature. You know the feeling when you put on a bright colour and it makes you feel happy? Well, decorating your home is no different. Studies show that nature has such a positive effect on both your physical and mental health, so why not bring it inside by filling your space with plants and hanging art and photography that depicts natural landscapes.
Art reduces stress naturally!
Art can connect you to nature and its healing benefits. For example, patients who view pictures of flowers or sunsets instead of blank walls experience lower blood pressure and a decreased need for pain medication. If you live a stress filled life then a beautiful scene of mountains may be just what you need to help you decompress after a long day. Mounting that photograph or art on wood can even bring the natural world closer. Art reduces stress naturally! So next time you feel overwhelmed, instead of reaching for a pill or drink to calm you down, just take a long look at a picture of a sunrise coming up over the ocean. The natural scene will inspire you, lower your stress levels, and make you feel right at home!
- Berto, Rita. “The Role of Nature in Coping with Psycho-Physiological Stress: A Literature Review on Restorativeness.” Ed. Jack L. Nasar. Behavioral Sciences4.4 (2014): 394–409. PMC. Web. 8 Mar. 2017.