How the Arts Affect Your Health
January 13, 2017
Have you ever noticed any changes in your mood after listening to music, painting, dancing, or writing? For sure, you cannot ignore the appearance of new feelings, such as delight, passion, or excitement. The reason is simple: art influences our emotional state.
Many people all over the world derive pleasure from art. It brings them to the state of euphoria. Somehow connected with this, there exists a theory of unity between creativity and madness. It is questionable whether a psychological ailment can have an impact on art, but it definitely works vice versa.
Martin Seligman, a leading authority in the field of positive psychology, has recently published the book Flourish, where he distinguishes five constituents of psychological health: “positive emotion,” “engagement,” “accomplishment,” “positive relationships,” and “meaning.” In other words, to be happy people need to have a right attitude to life, something they like to do and to be successful in that particular activity, and somebody they love as family, friends.
It is sheer bliss to feel the connection between the artist and oneself through the painting. This creates a special kind of a dialogue because a master is fully engaged in creating his work, so he puts there a segment of himself and his soul. This is the development of humankind and our culture.
Art can make us feel shiver down the spine, awaking the deepest feelings and memories in our mind. Its powerful energy helps to identify yourself as a person. Scientists even prove it to be something of the physical existence and inaccessible for study disciplines. Jonathan Haidt in his book The Happiness Hypothesis uses referring to the art such words as “divinity” or “sacredness”. The theory of “transcendent” art says that it provides spiritual healing.
Such practices are among the most important in human life and have a strong impact on psychological well-being. Arthur Danto, a philosopher and art critic, describes the transcendent capacity of art as the “transfiguration of the commonplace.” With the help of the examples of Warhol’s Brillo Box and Campbell soup cans, he demonstrates the process of visual perception of art. In our mind, it happens subconsciously affecting the inner part of our being.
Art is an integral part of our life being one of the reasons for happiness as well as a cure for mental disorders. It is a method of self-development for artists and for those who consume their product. Nevertheless, the mechanism, of how this treasure works, has not been discovered by science yet and presents another dimension of existence.