We all know that displaying art in your home makes it look nicer and creates a more welcoming environment, but why does it have that effect? People don’t always realize it but displaying art in their homes can have a profound impact on the brain and help to improve your mental health in several ways. So, if you don’t already have wall art displayed in your home, you need to start putting some up. Here’s how art improves your mental health.
It Helps Us Process Emotions
Did you know that we all have a special part of our brain that is responsible for processing the emotions and memories connected to visual art? We call this part of the brain the “visual association cortex” and this is exactly what it does. When we look at certain pieces of art, like paintings or photographs, our visual association cortex triggers everything associated with what we’re looking at such as its color, shapes, and texture.
This helps us to process the emotion behind the picture and make sense out of how it makes us feel which can help us process our own related emotions. For example, many paintings by brian kershisnik resonate with those experiencing loss and grief. These images encourage the brain to engage with and process those feelings instead of locking them away, and that is so positive. The same is true of paintings that evoke feelings of anger or sadness.
It Reduces Stress and Anxiety
Studies show that looking at art can reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. This is because the mental processes used when viewing art are similar to what happens when people are meditating or engaged in visualization exercises.
Mentally transporting yourself into a painting makes you more relaxed, slows down your breathing rate, and decreases levels of stress hormones in the brain. It increases mindful awareness about the details of the world around you, which means you mindfully notice things in your environment without judging them as good or bad.
It Stimulates the Brain
Science is beginning to prove what artists have known all along: that art stimulates the brain in ways nothing else quite does. When we look at a piece of art, areas of our brain associated with creativity are activated. We tend to breathe more slowly; our pulse rate goes down and we enter what’s called an “alpha state”. This is where it can be easier for us to access ideas that might otherwise lay dormant. In short, looking at art will make your brain more active and help you stay sharp.
It Releases Dopamine
Viewing art that is aesthetically pleasing releases endorphins in the brain, which give us feelings of pleasure and can even feel like being in love. This reaction helps to alleviate depression and anxiety by triggering dopamine production in the brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter associated with mood regulation so when we have low levels of it, we tend to feel a bit down. However, when we release more dopamine naturally through things like exercise or being creative, it can have a positive effect on our mental health.
Displaying wall art in your home is not just about making the place look nice, it can have a profound impact on your mental health too.
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