Why Do People Enjoy Art? Unveiling How Creativity & Beauty Brush Away Stress & Elevate Mental Wellness

Why Do People Enjoy Art? Unveiling How Creativity & Beauty Brush Away Stress & Enhance Mental Wellness

Why do people enjoy art? Scientific research shows that viewing art can release dopamine. This natural neurotransmitter creates a feeling of calmness and improves your overall feelings of well-being. As such, embracing art can serve as a natural pathway to alleviate stress and elevate your mood.

Dopamine Art

Dopamine is best known for how it contributes to our feelings of pleasure and satisfaction, although it’s also known to help regulate memory, mood and even focus. So, how does art make you feel? Studies show that just by looking at art you enjoy, your brain may release dopamine to trigger the same feelings as when you’re in love, neurologically speaking. Disturbing art didn’t produce similar brain activity.

How Does Drawing Affect the Brain?

All forms of art development, from sketching and drawing to sculpting and painting, positively impact the brain in multiple ways. Drawing strengthens neural connections on both the right (creative) and left (analytical, detailed) hemispheres. Art creation also improves memory, problem-solving, observation, and critical-thinking skills.

Embracing art creation can also reduce stress while offering a non-verbal way to articulate and express complex feelings. It also boosts creativity and imagination while encouraging a state of mindfulness and presence. Finally, it can contribute to your brain’s neuroplasticity, stimulating brain growth and development. In short, art is fun and can keep you young!

“Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his picture.”
~Andrew Wyeth

Art Is Transformative

What makes art transformative is its power to profoundly change people and societies in meaningful ways: emotionally, psychologically, socially and even physically. That cathartic effect from dopamine can also be inspiring and empathy-producing. Art can create cognitive shifts by challenging our perceptions to better understand our place in the world.

Art therapy helps many process trauma and cope with stress. It’s a powerful medium for social change and preservation of cultural identities. Educationally, it boosts cognitive abilities and fosters critical thinking and analysis. The universal language of art fosters social connections and bridges cultural gaps; art brings a community together.

“The picture is all I can fall back on when I run out of words.”
~Andrew Wyeth

Find Your Happiness Art

Find more artists, genres and periods that boost your dopamine by visiting the Farnsworth and other museums and galleries here in the Art Capital of Maine. Take the time to explore broadly different works of art and tune in to which ones make you feel happiest. Then, explore art creation options as well. Add your favorites to your mental wellness toolkit, along with other routine strategies like meditation and nature walks.