by Lucy Chambers
JAM Contributing Writer
Many great artists have taken inspiration from the great outdoors. One such example is Vincent Van Gogh, who recommends that artists “keep [their] love of nature, for that is the true way to understand art more and more.” Time spent in nature promotes peace and tranquility, which can lead to artistic creativity. Moments of peace and tranquility can be found in the flowing rivers, swaying branches, the lonely, shape-shifting clouds, or any of the beautiful and wondrous creatures found in the natural world.
Water and Mental Health
The fact that the sound of flowing water has positive psychological effects on the human brain is a testament to the power and influence of nature on our minds and spirits. One of the ways that we know this to be true is that psychologists have been using ocean sounds to promote peace and tranquility during various forms of therapy for years, and they will continue to do so because it works. Some scientists have even suggested that the sound of flowing waters, waves and the changing of the tides affects the rhythm of our brain waves, which creates a more peaceful train of thought.
Time spent in nature helps to promote creativity because we are able to escape the ebb and flow of our everyday distractions and stimulations. Our brains are able to rest, relax and recharge once we get away from our cell phones and social media and surround ourselves the natural world. In fact, people are roughly fifty percent more creative after spending just a few days immersed in nature, away from the city. If you are looking for a boost in your creativity a trip to the cottage, lake or the beach could be exactly what you need.
The Sublime in Nature
The natural world has an uncanny ability to capture our attention and foster moments of awe in the human brain. Have you have ever caught yourself staring at the ocean, sunset, or simply off into the distance at a maze of trees, thick and green as the sea? If you have, then you will understand William Wordsworth’s sentiment, “poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquility.” All humans experience powerful emotions in moments of love, longing and loss. If we spend time in nature and reflect upon these powerful feelings and memories we can not only feel more peaceful, tranquil and unified with our emotions and our surroundings, but we can promote and, potentially, peak our artistic creativity.
Lucy Chambers is a professional freelance writer with many years experience across a variety of sectors. She made the move to freelancing from a stressful corporate job, and loves the work-life balance it offers her.