Your Brain on Art, a book — petit plaisir #371
Wednesday December 20, 2023

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The inclusion and prioritization of art in our lives, in which ever medium you are drawn to or what is available to you, provides more than just enjoyment, but scientific studies have repeatedly shown enhances our well-being, improves our health which can then increase our longevity, enhances learning, as well as reduces our stress and ultimate nourishes our life so that ywe have the ability to flourish.

In a new book, Your Brain On Art: How the Arts Transform Us published in March 2023, authors Susan Magsamen and Ivy Ross share the are six foundational attributes of flourishing: “They include curiosity and wonder, awe, enriched environments, creativity, rituals, novelty and surprise.” Each of these foundational components of a life that is flourishing becomes directly related to our valuing of art in our lives.

The authors go on to show how there are “unending ways the arts aid in cultivating well-being as it helps us navigate the uncertainty and unpredictability of life and ride the wave complex emotions and feelings”. And when it comes to wonder, one of the foundational components of giving ourselves the opportunity to flourish, “according to wonder researchers, beauty is primarily what triggers it . . . the arts, which frequently contain the beautiful and the unexpected are excellent facilitators of wonder.” And as science has long defined in scientific literature our innate desire to understand the world and our role in it as human beings, we are just waiting for something to pique our curiosity, draw us in to explore more and be inspired to continue to learn further. It is “wonder that often seeds our curiosity”.

Along with flourishing, the authors detail how art amplifies learning, restores mental health, helps to create community, heals our body physically and cultivates well-being. Be sure to tune in to the conclusion of episode #371 when I share a more detailed review of the book.

I thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated Your Brain On Art as it underscores so much of what I have unconsciously found to be true due to my opportunities to be exposed and share time with a variety mediums of art, from music, to theatre, visiting museums of painting and sculpture, design and fashion, the list goes on. If you are looking for a resource to provide well-researched findings on the concrete findings as to how art does in fact enhance the quality of our lives, be sure to pick up Your Brain On Art.


Episode 331

2 thoughts on “Your Brain on Art, a book — petit plaisir #371

  1. Hi Shannon,
    I just finished reading, Your Brain on Art. What a great book. I’m trying to incorporate 20 minutes every day in some creative endeavor. I think that being in tune with this part of our creative life experience is crucial to our mental health and general wellbeing. To be in awe of what is around us and to appreciate all forms of art, visual and performance, is a gift.

    My focus in 2024 going to live performances, dance, music and plays. Also, I’m reading Mary Oliver’s poetry book, Devotions. So lovely.

    Thank you for mentioning this book in one of you entries.

    1. Maggie,

      Thank you for sharing your experience of having read the book and take-always that spoke to you. 😌 As you said, art in our lives, to make time for it, engage with it, see it and thus appreciate it contributes positives to our lives in so many forms. I think your plan sounds wonderful and thank you for reminding us of a wonderful poet to welcome into our libraries.
      Thank you for stopping by. 💛

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