Appreciating beauty can be a powerful antidote to stress.
Research indicates that when we experience something beautiful, the pleasure and reward center in our brain is stimulated, increasing our good feelings and reducing fear and anxiety. This positivity even brings changes to our physical self. Our eyes widen, our heart rate slows down, and we’re more able to settle down and appreciate the present moment. And when we’re in the present moment, we can use these powerful, pleasurable feelings to fight back stress and initiate important changes in our life.
This Monday morning, enhance your appreciation of beauty.
- • Choose something you find beautiful to focus on in your home or on the way to work – like an art object, flower, or tree
- • For a few moments, see how much detail you can take in: color, shape, tone, timbre, texture.
- • Savor the feelings you get from the object, then try recalling the image when you need a mental break in the week ahead.
Photographer/writer Brandon Stanton of the fabulous blog Humans of New York has been roaming New York City and the world (including Iran!) to capture the beauty inside people of all types, shapes, and life conditions. His secret: listening, looking, and feeling beyond the superficial.