Sunday, August 16, 2015

Art Relieves Stress

Feeling rushed? Panicked even?

Is anxiety getting the best of you? Are the walls pushing in, your lunch hour squeezed into a few minutes, break time feeling more like a breaking point?

September Ramble  ©Patricia Scarborough  12x12 oil
Jared Green gets it. He’s a writer and editor for a really interesting landscape architecture blog titled The Dirt. A few years ago he wrote several articles on stress as it relates to our inside living spaces. Go ahead and browse if you'd like. I'll wait.

The Washington Post gets in on the act as well. From Wapo june 29, 2015, in a nutshell:
“…University of Melbourne’s Kate Lee and a group of colleagues found that interrupting a tedious, attention-demanding task with a 40-second “microbreak” — in which one simply looks at a computerized image of a green roof — improved focus as well as subsequent performance…”
And from an article in the Wall Street Journal by ShirleyWang on the benefits of going green:
“... the researchers had participants take a break for 10 minutes in a quiet room to look at pictures of a nature scene or city street. Again, they found that cognitive performance improved after the nature break, even though it was only on paper.”

San Gabriel Trailhead  ©Patricia Scarorough  9x12 oil

Enough of science, let’s cut to the chase, shall we? 

Green is good. Grass is great. Trees are terrific. Flowers are fantastic. Skies are scintillating. Depth is delicious. Horizons are hor-…uh…hir-…uh..calming.

Anyway, the gist of it all is that looking at nature, at green living things, is good for us.

I understand that not everyone can leave their desk for a walk on a dirt path in a field of clover. Sometimes finding the time to gaze across a hay field and listen to the cattle munching is impossible. Or maybe you live in one of those places where cement has covered what used to be green and fertile. 
Under a Green Canopy  ©Patricia Scarborough 30x40 oil  
The answer is surprisingly easy. Get yourself some art. Plunk it on your desk between the pencil cup and stapler so you can see it easily. Better yet, really invest in your well-being and acquire a larger piece. Hang it on the wall, right over the chair where your boss plants herself. You can pretend to pay attention while gazing at something really important – like an image of the great big beautiful world around you. And feel your stress melt away.


Cathyann Burgess said...

I love this post! Keep those images and words of the wise coming!

Patty said...

Thanks for sticking with me Cathyann. Some day every office and desk will have a lovely piece of art to enjoy!

Hedda said...

So beautifully said, Patty. Art is an essential part of a healthy and deeply felt life, and the world needs to wake up to that truth. That painting that you show here is made to heal someone's heart.

Patty said...

Oh Hedda, such a lovely comment. Thank you so very much.