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The Many Health Benefits of Art

We all know that home is meant to be where the heart is. We nourish ourselves and our families through the meals that we serve at home, we build memories by hosting events at home, and now there is scientific evidence that shows the benefits of having and admiring art at home. According to a medical study by Harvard, having and admiring art may reduce incidences of anxiety and depression while simultaneously increasing feelings of love and empathy. In a time when mental health markets are, for the most part, steadily declining we could all benefit from small improvements everywhere. While art in our homes shows off our personal style and gives us pleasure, it also benefits our mental health as well.

We can look at our bare walls as if they’re blank canvases, waiting to be filled and altered at our whims. Art, be it paintings or glasswork, reflects your personality and life experiences. It can show off the places you’ve been and spark the reminiscence of cherished stories. It can convey emotions and act as a window into your personality. It starts conversations, builds bridges, and helps share thoughts. So however you choose to display your art, having something in your home that you consider artistic is one of the best ways to help express your identity.

Did you know that as of 2020, 21% of Adults in the US are experiencing a mental illness? That’s the equivalent of over 50 MILLION Americans. With mental health being an ever-present factor in nearly a quarter of our homes, art has been found in many cases to be a viable option of therapy. It’s been found to be calming and according to studies, looking at pleasing art can increase blood flow to the brain by up to 10% - the same as looking at someone you love. In fact, looking at art in a critical way, stimulates both unconscious and conscious brain functions, which improves your analytical and problem-solving skills. Art therapy has long been used to help treat anxiety and depression. As a hands-on activity, it helps lower the stress hormone cortisol so your body can recover from its fight-or-flight state and return to a rest-and-digest state. But even if creating art isn’t of much interest to you, studies show that looking at art that pleases you have an anti-inflammatory effect by reducing inflammatory proteins.

The field of neuroaesthetics examines how our reactions to art impact us neurologically. According to noted neurobiologist Semir Zeki, experiencing art that we find pleasurable, stimulates and impacts the decision-making areas of our brains. Zeki also mentions that as our brains work to recognize colors, shapes, and patterns, there are distinct areas in the frontal lobe that interact and bring together memory, experience, and learning. Further, looking at art in your home can stimulate critical thinking, pattern-matching, decision-making, idea generation, and emotional connection.

Improves post-operation recovery periods, creates opportunities for mindfulness, creates a sense of connection to your home, and can be an investment (a financial health claim).

Lucky for us, we have so many talented artists right here in Chickahominy Falls. Join us on Saturday, November 12th from 10 am-2 pm as we host our second Chickahominy Falls Art Sale here at The Barn. Enjoy perusing the fine talent we have on display while also finding the perfect piece to add to your growing collection at home. Your health may just depend on it!

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