Jane Sandwood wrote this post for the blog. Enjoy
In The Art of Wandering, Merlin Coverley highlights the meditative nature of walking and how it has inspired spiritual sages, philosophers, writers and artists throughout the history of humankind. As the physical body wanders through paths, the mind too is able to wander. The natural world, more so than cities, boosts curiosity due to its winding nature and lack of logical structure. Here are some scientifically verified benefits of nature for increasing artistic creativity.
Allowing the Brain to Explore
Walking is an inherently natural motion. It is not something we ever need to think about. This means that while you are doing it, your mind can be focused on other things. However, if you are in a densely populated town or city, there will be too much stimulation. However, by being among nature, your mind will automatically become more relaxed, yet alert at the same time.
A study published in PLoS One suggested that immersion in nature improved cognitive performance in higher level tasks. These include tasks that require creativity and problem-solving. Nature rests the mind, giving the prefrontal cortex the energy to find creative solutions.
Nature can reawaken spirituality, allowing you to access higher level concepts. It is these deep emotional and spiritual states that we are trying to replicate in art. This is why leaving the mundane behind and stepping into a world of natural beauty can provide artistic inspiration.
According to research published in Psychological Journal, a sense of awe expands a person’s perception of time. If you spend too much time in an office, you can feel a constant sense of stress and time pressure. The incredible beauty of nature relieves this pressure so that you can tap into that creative side of yourself.
The natural world also contains every shade of colour that an artist would wish to use. By spending time among flowers, you will learn how plants naturally use colour to attract the attention of animals. Taking the time to observe this aspect of nature can provide immense inspiration to an artist.
Improving Mental Health
Finally, nature boosts your mood, which in turn is good for creativity. If you are feeling depressed, it can be demotivating to the point that you struggle to come up with new ideas. An artistic masterpiece requires self-confidence and belief.
This can be difficult to achieve if you are feeling low in mood or stressed. Walking among nature improves mood by releasing endorphins and increasing blood flow to the brain. This will leave you feeling fitter and energized, while simultaneously feeling relaxed and peaceful.
Nature alone provides some inspiration through being awe-inspiring, while walking creates a meditative state, improving high-level cognitive functions and mood. The two of these combined could be the key to unlocking your creative potential and overcoming mental blocks.
Jane Sandwood is a professional freelance writer with over 10 years’ experience across many fields. Jane has a particular interest in issues relating to health and wellbeing.
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