Doctors prescribing looking at art as a form of medicine? It sounds like exactly the kind of treatment we can get behind! A recent Wall Street Journal article, “Is Looking at Art a Path to Mental Well-Being?”, described the growing field of neuroaesthetics, the study of how the brain reacts to different forms of art, and how exposure to beauty in its many forms can affect one’s mental health.
“Generally, beauty and music or art is very rewarding to the human brain,” says Wendy Suzuki, a neuroscientist and professor of neural science at New York University. “It can activate our natural, de-stressing part of our nervous system called the parasympathetic nervous system that slows our heart rate down. And I think that’s so important these days because our stress and anxiety levels are so high.”
The article also notes that the World Health Organization, in 2019, also released a 146-page report that recommends the inclusion of arts in the treatment of mental health. This is truly music to our ears.
Now more than ever we need healing modalities to combat the stressors of our daily lives. Whether that be through art making, looking at art, moving your body, experiences in nature, or with loved ones - find those outlets that help you reset, recharge and renew.