Science Says Art is Great for Your Brain

At this point, we know that art has multiple effects on our brain, can keep our brains healthy longer and have other health benefits that we might not know about. Here are some of them.

Our brains were designed to appreciate and process artwork. 

Recent studies have shown that looking at art can activate the pleasure centers of our brain.

Both sectors were triggered through an appreciation of art. 

A study that had people looking at art noticed that the centers of the brain that process emotions and create pleasure were being engaged while the person was looking at art.

Looking at art can activate the pleasure centers of our brain

Creating art… improved memory

 And although our brains make us feel pleasure through the act of analyzing artwork, our brains actually do more for us through the acts of creating art.

In a 2014 study we’ve mentioned before in this blog, creating visual art increased brain activity and resiliency for the participants of the experiment.

So basically, older people should be creating more art so that their brains stay more active. in the study, the brains of the participants were monitored for a few weeks while they created art in a classroom setting.

At the end of the experiment, the study reported that the brains of the participants showed improved functionality in cognitive processes such as introspection, self-monitoring, awareness and even memory

This is your brain on art.

This is your brain on art.

Viewing art can decrease stress

Another thing that viewing and creating art can do for us, is decrease stress. We’ve discussed how coloring books are being prescribed by French therapists in order to decrease stress. The type of artwork you are viewing in fact can also play a big role in reducing stress

According to the National Library of Medicine

Two studies found that self-reported stress was lower when viewing nature artworks compared with abstract artworks. One study found that different aspects of nature might have stronger effects; a forest mural resulted in larger blood pressure decreases than an aquatic mural.

Nature content may also affect biological indicators of stress responses; cortisol levels decreased faster after a stressor in people viewing scrambled versions of nature artworks, compared with the original nature artworks.

All but one of the studies that measured self-reported stress found a significant decrease after viewing artwork with the final study showing no significant changes. A  consistent decrease in systolic blood pressure was also found across the four studies measuring blood pressure

Overall, the preliminary findings from the included studies support the claim that viewing artworks can reduce stress, in particular self-reported stress and systolic blood pressure. These preliminary quantitative results support qualitative research showing that viewing artworks provides positive distraction from a hospital environment and lowers self-reported stress.

For more details and full information, and authors, read entire study at the NIH website:
Evidence for the effects of viewing visual artworks on stress outcomes: a scoping review

So next time you feel like your job or home life is stressing you out too much, maybe a trip to the museum or pulling out your paints or art journal might just help relieve stress and lower cortisol levels a bit more than happy hour.

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SMOOSH is an art technique that offers a quick and easy way to explore color in three easy steps. our SMOOSH art can be as simple or complex as you want; it’s up to you! You can use paintbrushes to paint on your SMOOSH or swipe away some of the paint using an Art Swipe Card. The best part is that no two SMOOSHES will be the same. The possibilities are endless!

SMOOSH Art Artist Acrylics Set
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