As an artist, I have always been passionate about bringing the healing and inspiration of nature into our daily spaces. What we see drastically impacts our minds and our moods, as well as the decisions those two things influence us to make.
I have posted numerous times about the healing effects of nature-based art, such as numerous studies concluding that exposure to images of nature results in positive psychological, emotional, and physiological changes such as:
Increased positive feelings and calmness
Reduced negativity, fear, anger, anxiety, depression, and sadness
Reduced blood pressure, heart rate, heart activity, and muscle tension
Decreased headaches, digestive disorders, chronic pain, and medication use
Improved cognition, creativity, and critical thinking skills
Reduced stressful thoughts, irritability, and restlessness
Increased kindness and enhanced social interactions
I am passionate about this subject, and I continually research the topic. Here are some new insights I have recently found:
Viewing artwork that you find beautiful makes you feel the same joy as falling in love! Dr. Zeki discovered that viewing art one finds beautiful triggers the release of dopamine – the chemical connected to love, pleasure, and desire.
Experiencing art decreases stress levels. After a visit to an art gallery, participants self-reported lower levels of stress, and also showed lower levels of cortisol – “the stress hormone.”
The healing power of art and nature boost your immune system. Nature and art boost the immune system by lowering levels of chemicals that cause inflammation and trigger diabetes, heart attacks and other illnesses.
Evolution has hardwired humans to find nature calming and restorative. Contemporary research on the impact of art on healing and the benefit of nature images lies in part in evolutionary theory.
Abstract or ambiguous art may have harmful effects. In stressful situations negative emotions are likely to be projected on to the surrounding environment, which explains the adverse reaction to abstract or ambiguous art in various research studies.
Seeing nature reminds us of the inherent harmony of life and our capacity for balance and inner peace. It reminds us that everything is about growth, and we are always growing. These truths have been further affirmed for me in my work as I have repeatedly gone through the process of finding inspiration in nature, then translating that inspiration into works of art.