Art museum benefits two people looking at wall black white with photography

Time well spent: visit an art museum

We tend to think of art as a luxury. However, with so many benefits to our mental health, art might be more essential than we think.

Further research proves art can reduce stress and anxiety, decrease blood pressure, and fire up the pleasure networks in our brains. We already wrote about the Van Gogh Museum, which created a program embracing the power art can have on our mental well-being, or the city of Brussels, which recently launched a pilot to test if cultural visits could help to treat anxiety Psychiatrists.

The positive effects of going to a museum seem obvious. Still, new research also finds evidence that even a brief interaction with online digital art can improve our well-being. Briefly viewing cultural interventions online improved mood, anxiety, loneliness, and well-being. Online viewing has unique benefits that are important to harness. It opens up access pathways and creates a new forum to enhance mental health; however, as one of the researchers mentioned, some parts of the experience don’t translate. Online art viewing can’t replace an in-person experience, as some art pieces’ scale, color, and immediacy cannot be reproduced digitally.

So if you’re still wondering how to spend your time off during the holidays, treat yourself to a trip to an art museum.