10 BENEFITS OF PHOTOGRAPHY TO MENTAL HEALTH
Perhaps the most common mental health issues today, especially consequences arising from the covid and flu outbreaks include stress, anxiety, uncertainty, frustration, and depression.
Thousands of studies have been made about the various methods available to help people who are suffering from different mental-health problems. Up until recently it has been difficult for many individuals to access mental health practitioners and treatment options. Even now with the huge pressures on the NHS it can be very difficult to access help, as well I know! So how does one cope?
It is common knowledge that are has positive effects on both physical and psychological health. Photography is a form of self-expression that can contribute to a person’s ability to maintain or regain a positive mental attitude. However, if you’re still unsure about just how photography can help here’s ten benefits of photography in improving both physical and mental health:
Making relevant connections can improve a person’s well-being. Taking pictures and sharing them to a community, such as a social media group, can help people to meet new people with the same interests. In doing so photography becomes a common ground that can generate conversations, make connections and possibly even find support to fight loneliness.
Taking pictures lets you see a unique beauty that you will only get to appreciate as you look through your camera. It allows you to discover your environment in a passive manner. The greatest thing about it is that photos let you freeze the beauty and capture it for posterity.
Most genres of photography are performed outside which requires people to walk around. This allows the body to burn more calories, provides fresh air and even just lugging camera gear around can be great bonus exercise during a long walk.
In a study by Dr. Liz Brewster of Lancaster University and Dr. Andrew Cox from the University of Sheffield in 2018 it was revealed that taking pictures daily and sharing them with others can improve self-care. Doing something new develops into a new habit. The process is therapeutic, allows a person to feel refreshed and it keeps the brain stimulated by making it think of creative photos to take every day.
Photographs can help bring back memories from the past and all the positive thoughts that are associated with it. This is especially relevant to people who are feeling sad or depressed; looking through old pictures can be an effective method to improve someones mood.
The brain becomes less effective as it ages and photography is a good exercise to keep the brain healthy. According to research by Professor Denise C. Park from the University of Texas, photography is a highly cognitive activity. In her study, participants who engaged in digital photography were able to enhance and improve their episodic memory and reasoning skills.
‘The Connection Between Art, Healing, and Public Health: A Review of Current Literature’, suggested that art therapy can help reduce cortisol, a hormone that can cause stress in the human body. Taking a good picture can make a person feel relaxed and allows them to see the world differently and remain motivated.
Photographers take photos of things that interest them. It becomes an enjoyable experience to see your interests in a different perspective. It also generates a rewarding feeling that can boost create and improve happiness.
Photography as an art form promotes curiosity, awakens creativity and lets the brain process different thoughts, encouraging the brain to translate its emotions into images.
Photography can provide direction by allowing you look forward to what you will photograph next. It lets you enjoy each moment, encouraging positivity and getting you excited for the next day that you will take new photos.
If you would like me to see the photographs you take as a result of reading this please tag me @burntmoon. I look forward to seeing what you create. I also run photography workshops for beginner/intermediate levels in the Teesside area of England for those wishing to improve their photography skills and their general wellbeing. Associated with the workshops is a closed Facebook group where members can post images for polite and gentle feedback. I charge £20pp and a workshop lasts for approximately 2-3 hours.
NB. Most of the images used to illustrate this blog post are available to buy from this website. If you have any difficulties finding them please do message me via the contact section of the website. Thank you.
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