How Does Art Scientifically Benefit Your Health?

Since I consider myself to be a creative, artistic type, it makes sense that I’m pretty much always willing to advocate for the benefits art can bring about to a person. Even if you don’t consider yourself the creative type, you’ve probably found yourself moved by at least one painting or other work of art at some point in your life. Now, there’s increasingly higher amounts of scientific evidence pointing toward the ways in which simply viewing art can positively impact a person’s health.

Your Brain On Art

Studies are showing that when people look at art, there is a big increase in activity in the region of the brain associated with pleasure. Naturally, the activity increases even more when people are looking at particular styles which they are drawn to. For instance, someone who expresses an interest in classical Greek sculptures will experience a greater sense of reward when viewing this type of artwork, as opposed to someone who would prefer to see an abstract painting by Picasso. The more a person likes a particular form of art, the blood flow to the brain increases dramatically for a greater sense of happiness. 

This is pretty similar to the way in which the brain gets excited when a person consumes sugar, salt, or another treat – only it’s safe to say that looking at art is a much healthier way to activate this part of the brain. Nueroaesthetics, the field of science dedicated to studying the connection between aesthetically pleasing activities and neurological function, is beginning to be tapped into as a legitimate source of improving a person’s quality of life. 

This also taps into the idea that we can feel a strong sense of connection and ability to relate to certain works of art. The idea of mirror neurons explains this link well. Essentially, humans tend to empathize with various things found naturally in the world. For example, if we see a person get a papercut and wince, we are likely to wince with them as if we had experienced that same negative sensation. When it comes to viewing art, we can experience the emotions expressed in the work in our own bodies. 

When you take all this into account, it suddenly doesn’t seem so flippant to add more art into your life. Placing a peaceful painting of a landscape in your office may be just what you need to remain calm and focused at work. 

untitled by nyja morris is licensed under CC BY 4.0

This article is made available for general, entertainment and educational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of The Joint Corp (or its franchisees and affiliates). You should always seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.