Does Art Unlock the Secrets of Being Thankful?

November 11, 2019

On a Wing and A Prayer is a miniature oil painting on ivorine by artist, Beverly Abbott

By Chelsea Reed

Gratitude. It’s a buzzword that’s garnered a lot of attention in recent years. With awareness of hard times and limited resources, more people seek out quality of life. Having a thankful mindset can help turn the tide. Whether it’s your family, your job, or getting out of bed every day, it’s easy to find something to be thankful for.

An increase of scientific evidence shows that being thankful is good for your health! Writing your blessings down, giving to charity, and deep thinking are ways to lead to thankfulness. But can art admiration do the same thing? Let’s explore this fascinating phenomenon of being thankful through art.
The Science of Appreciating Art
Butterflies and Pearls is an original work of art by the artist, Lynn Ponto PetersonIt’s a fact - art makes us feel good. Neurobiologist Semir Zeki found that people who view art had as much dopamine, the feel-good hormone, as people in love! Workers who spend only 35 minutes of their lunch break at an art gallery feel less stressed about their day. And students who visit art museums gain a higher capacity for empathy than students who do not. All these benefits help us to be thankful. Webster’s Dictionary defines thankful as - “conscious of benefit received,” an “expressive of thanks,” and being “well pleased.” What wonderful things to think about!

Making your own art can provide health benefits, too. People who create art experience higher levels of focus and concentration. The medical industry is realizing the therapeutic power of art. Universities like Harvard and Yale are studying its potential in future medicine. Doctors and hospitals are involving more patients into art participation programs. There are even professional art therapists! Creating art makes a big difference for patients with dementia, cancer, and autism. The simple act of painting helps them lower stress and forget about their illness. They also focus on a positive outlook, which includes gratitude.
Experiencing Thanksgiving through Art
Giving time and money to charity elevates our gratitude, and so does giving artwork to others. Do you find yourself with a surplus in your art collection? Consider donating to a museum, hospital, or community center. Collectors like Andrew Carnegie and Walter Chrysler had entire museums of art donations! Because of their generosity, thousands of viewers enjoy their art today. 

You don’t have to donate entire collections, of course, to benefit people with art. A piece or two can make a difference in a person’s life. If you can’t bear the thought of parting with your beloved art, (we don’t blame you!) why not shop for a piece to give to someone just because? From family to friends to the coworker across the hall, your appreciation is sure to put a smile on their face.
Art: The Gateway to Gratitude
Does art unlock the secrets of being thankful? Yes! As an old saying goes, “it is better to give than to receive.” Whether you’re viewing art, making art, or giving art, you can experience gratitude right away. It’s as simple as browsing through Seaside Art Gallery’s website! Drawn by a certain piece? You can buy it online or over the phone with ease. If it’s a gift for someone else, we provide flexible shipping options. With the power of art, we can have thanksgiving any time of the year!
Chelsea Reed is a copywriter who writes online content, articles, blogs, and websites from her base in North Carolina. 

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