What are the Mental Benefits of Photography?

Mental Health Benefits You Get From Photography | Ben Chrisman Blog

A picture they say is worth a thousand words – looking at a picture can explain away subjects you find hard to describe. Photography is a universal language. You can show a picture taken in one geographical area to people of a different geographical area and they would be able to easily describe what the picture is all about.

In basic terms, photography is the simple art of capturing light with a device. Deeply, photography entails the various methods that can be chosen to capture light, the types of devices there are to capture light, and the ability to know which should be used in different scenarios.

The Mental Benefits of Photography

It might seem counter-intuitive in this media-saturated world to think that picking up a camera would ease your mind, but according to scientific research, it isn’t. Here are ways to find out how photography can help improve your mental well-being.

1.      Puzzles

Puzzles are a great way to task your brain, thereby improving it. What is even more fun and tasking are picture puzzles. Picture puzzles, as fun as they are, can help improve your mental state of being. As an idea, taking pictures and making them into puzzles is exciting. If you require a company offering such photo printing services, reading reviews on platforms such as ReviewsBird can help you pick a suitable one. There are niche companies that print puzzle photos, and an example is My Photo Puzzle. A search will turn up other businesses that you can pick from to help you turn your favorite pictures into puzzles you or your loved ones can solve.

Another benefit of picture puzzles on your mental health is its improvement of visual-spatial reasoning. Sound visual-spatial reasoning helps with packing, using a map, driving a car, and if you love to dance, following dance moves.

2.      State of Mind

Photography helps put us in what is colloquially known as ‘being in the zone’. In official scientific terms, it is known as flow. The concept of flow refers to a mental state of operation in which a person performs an activity with peak focus. They are immersed in such an activity in a feeling of energized focus. The task could change from photography to cooking or dancing, and the concept of flow would still occur. Flow occurs when you are engrossed in a task, especially creative ones. Time stops, you let yourself go and fuse into something larger.

The entire process of photography requires absolute focus. The process of choosing a subject, choosing angles at which to capture that subject in a way that shows its brilliance requires your entire attention. This process, by its very nature, is a meditative task and tends to draw one into a peaceful state of mind. You feel calm, and at that moment nothing else matters. A peaceful state of mind is good for our health. We are at rest, we are calm, and our brain itself is relaxed. In this sense, photography is beneficial to our mental health.

3.      Exploration

Photography inspires exploration. How? Have you ever stared at pictures of several landscapes and wished you could be in those places in person? That is photography inspiring the desire to explore your environment in you. People today make vacation plans off of looking at photographs of different places. The desire to be there in person, taking in that atmosphere, creeps up, takes over, and has them making phone calls to traveling agencies about the possibility of making a trip over. In countries with terrible governments, which block off their citizens from accessing information about how the rest of the world looks like, photos have proved a great tool in helping those people realize the truth about the world and deciding to move out of their countries. Discovering the truth is liberating, and it can often give a feeling of mental emancipation.

More than ever, non-profit groups that promote messages that encourage being in a healthy state of mind have been raising awareness about the dangers of excessive fixation on the screens of our digital devices. They encourage us to put down our phones and look at the world around us. Photography can help inspire us to do that. Looking at pictures of people with different cultures, and fascinating geographical locations can help inspire the yearning to go out to observe nature.

Photography is valuable in improving our mental health. Whether we are in a gallery looking at the shots professional photographers have on display, or we are out there in the world taking pictures, we should bear in mind that we are doing our mental health and the mental health of others a positive service.

Shirley L. Bryant

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