The Unexpected Benefits of Art

One of the many wonderful things about living with an artist is that the house is filled with…wait for it…art.  With a few exceptions, the paintings in our house are Chris’. One of my absolute favorites is “The Butterfly Effect”, which hangs in our bedroom.  Almost every night before I fall asleep I look at that piece, even if just for half a minute, and admire it. It’s peaceful and soothing and I always feel lucky that I get to look at it every night.  I can’t prove it, but I have a feeling that it actually helps me fall asleep.

Or maybe I can prove it.  Chris found an article on titled “Looking at Art Could Help Med Students Become Better Doctors”.  It describes a class in which medical students are taught to look at art.  After the class, research found that the students improved their observational skills, were more able to maintain objectivity, and better understood the value of being able to see something from another person’s perspective.  All of these skills enabled them to be better at diagnosing and helping patients. Taking an art class while learning to become a doctor also provided a stress relief and helped them to complete their studies. The article provides an excellent example of how art can positively affect our lives.  Think about that the next time you’re in a doctor’s office. In addition to their hard earned diplomas, they should also hang a good piece of art on their walls. It could be not only decorative, but also consoling. If I could see the painting below the next time I’m in a waiting room, I know I’d feel better.

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