The Relationship Between Art, Psychology, and Wellbeing

I am delighted to share a fascinating guest post with you by ‘The Wellbeing Blogger’ which explores how art and wellbeing interact. I was pleased to read this as I have a keen interest in art and always wondered how it linked to psychology, as it does seem to stimulate calmness and satisfaction in me. Read on, to find out more about the importance of art and explore psychology and wellbeing.

A historic painting that I (Jamie) discovered in a Luxembourg castle.

Guest post by Vanessa Dias,

Art has been a primary form of communication between human beings for hundreds of years. A piece of art, whatever it may be, can carry many ideas, experiences, and values. How did art come about though? Does our brain play a role in the Arts? And what can the Arts do for our psychology and well-being?

Scholars believe the Arts are exclusive to mankind, and I believe there is an Artist in each one of us, ready to be uncovered and liberated. It seems, however, that Art in all its manifestations is a recent event in mankind’s history.

Starting out

The first objects of Art being produced were fine hand tools, small statuettes made from ivory, bones, beads, and pendants. There was also body painting and jewelry, which are thought to have been used as a way to evidence social status and group identity. Only much later did Art become a source of beauty and awe to human beings. 

Scholars also believe the evolution of art and its cultural purpose reflects the evolution of the human brain. Increased hemispheric asymmetry, interconnectivity between specialized areas, neuronal density, and brain size are thought to have contributed a great deal to the increased practice of art. 

Unlike Language, which seems to be located in the left hemisphere, Art can’t be reduced to a single brain region or cerebral hemisphere. It’s a rather complex phenomenon and it has the capacity to affect the brain itself. Our nervous system can be positively impacted whenever we find ourselves involved with art. Whether that means producing or appreciating art, we can benefit a great deal from it.

This eye-catching mural is in Salzburg, Austria.

What does research show?

Research studies have shown that visual arts interventions (e.g. drawing and painting) have positive effects on our psychology by regulating our levels of stress, self-reflection capacity, self-awareness, behaviour and thinking patterns. These effects are also reflected in our physiology. When we engage with art, and especially when we produce some sort of creative work, our heart rate, blood pressure, and cortisol (the stress hormone) are normalised.

On a daily basis, contact with artistic outlets can help us cope with reality setbacks and difficulties. It seems to function as a stress buffer, protecting us from the negative consequences of high arousal states. If it means being involved in the production of creative work, the better. A 2020 study showed that arts participation enhances mental health and increases life satisfaction.

So how can you incorporate these findings into your life?

There are several pathways you can choose from, and my advice is to pick an outlet without thinking too much about it. Just allow yourself to go with the experience and invite your explorative spirit into action. You have painting, sculpture, literature, architecture, cinema, music, and theatre. Select one of these forms of art and explore different ways you can engage with it.

For instance, let’s say you choose painting. You can try watercolor, oil, or acrylic painting. You can also focus on different styles of painting, and learn more about each one of them: modernism, impressionism, cubism… but if you want to start small and collect some immediate benefits, you can start with colouring in. I have a ready-made colouring workbook that you can download and use for free. The act of colouring directs our conscious attention away from ourselves and into the present moment. This way our mind gets a break and the chance to relax. Give it a try and start witnessing the benefits of art in your well-being.

This is a beautiful painting that gets you intrigued and keeps you amused. I (Jamie) saw it in a London gallery.

Thank you for reading Vanessa’s informative and thought-provoking article about art and wellbeing. If you enjoyed it then please give her lovely blog a follow.

Also, consider following my blog or checking out Where we get story ideas from.

Brightening Homes With Poster Store (Review)

AD – This blog post review is written in collaboration with Poster Store. There are some affiliate links included.

Are you doing some home decorating? Or do you simply want to spice up a few of your rooms with some high quality wall art? Interior design is made so much easier when you know a good provider of tasteful wall decorations.

As I am currently redecorating my home, I was super-excited to be invited to try out some Poster Store pictures and write about them in my blog. There is such an incredible range of stylish prints and posters available in Scandinavian designs on an easy to use website. Simply check out and browse all kinds of pictures and frames, including the nature prints that I have selected for my house.

Right now they are offering a 45% discount for all posters (except Selection posters and frames) when you use this code: JAMIE45

Note – This is not combinable with other discounts and campaigns and runs from 15th September to 22nd September 2021. So get your orders in quick!

This seaside image fits well with my colour scheme and adds a finishing touch to the bedroom.

Why use Poster Store?

If you are looking to create your own gallery in the living room, bedroom or above the stairs, these wall decorations are just for you. The Scandinavian designs are trendy, as well as affordable and make beautiful additions to any modern room. Personally, I like to mix it up a bit by scattering pictures in frames around the house, sometimes in pairs and often as individual set pieces.

They have a large selection of posters which are unique and of an incredibly good quality. Covering a range of different themes and categories, these prints aim to cater for all tastes. Also, they release a new poster collection every Tuesday, which is very cool.

I simply had to place this water themed picture next to the kitchen window, to remind me of holidays past.

Environmentally Friendly Prints

Being an eco-blogger, it was important that any mentioned products showed consideration for the environment. Luckily, Poster Store has partnered with a printer who is certified by the FCS and Nordic Swan for showing processes which support sustainability. The wood used comes from responsibly managed forests with the highest environmental and social standards.

I love the fact that their aim is to change customer behaviour in the long term, working towards eco-friendly targets. This goes hand in hand with the professional way they handle customer orders.

These two scenic, framed posters sit behind me when I relax and watch TV.

Having been gifted some stunning pictures in sharp white wooden frames, I feel lucky as they have added such a sparkle to my house. The website is very slick and easy to navigate so ordering is straight forward. Prices are reasonable and deliveries are swift. I totally recommend sourcing your wall art from Poster Store as they will quickly add some colour, texture and variety to your living spaces.

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog post. I hope you will consider using this lovely brand and also let me know what you think in the comments below.