The difference the humanities make to our wellbeing has long been understood, and more importantly felt, by those engaging with arts practices, dedicating their lives to participation and engagement with this diverse field of creativity.
Research is commencing to affirm these understandings, demonstrating that arts are clearly related to wellbeing and physiological condition. Of course, what makes people happy and satisfied with their lives is subjective, specific to every individual and their tastes. Yet during a 2010 study of 1,500 people, cultural experiences like theatre, concert, and gallery/museum visits, was the second most vital determinant of psychological wellbeing. it absolutely was second only to the incidence of disease.
Cultural experiences were seen as more important than factors like job, income, and education. This seriously suggests that the link between art and happiness is true for several more people than simply those that consider themselves to be ‘arty’. A review of this literature and the research available suggests that arts and cultural participation improve self-reported happiness and life satisfaction. there’s a growing movement within the tutorial and literary fields to assist people to understand how art can influence happiness.
Alain de Botton’s Art as Therapy and Bridget Watson Payne’s How Art Can cause you to Happy are prime samples of how we are able to forgo the normal notions of art as elite and exclusive, to attach with it on a private level. As Watson Payne says, “art is magic”. Further to the present, researchers at University College London, have conducted a series of brain-mapping experiments, led by neurobiologist Professor Semir Zeki.
The scans show that viewing art triggered a surge of dopamine, the happy chemical, into the brain, which ends in feelings of delight and satisfaction. It appeared that the reaction was almost immediate, in this when observing things we deliberate to be beautiful, activity within the pleasure reward center of the brain is increased. Research like this highlights the key role that the humanities can play in increasing well-being, satisfaction, and happy people.