Whether you work from home or in an office, the work day can be a sliding scale of ups and downs. Amid the influx of deadlines and emails (and meetings that should have been emails!), having an outlet to destress is essential to maintaining productivity—and wellbeing.    

The therapeutic benefits of art are well-studied—so much so, that art therapy has emerged as an almost subset of traditional mental health treatment. While YAG University unfortunately does not issue PhDs or PsyDs and, as such, we are not qualified to give actual medical advice, we do have tons of experience featuring beautiful art that makes people feel good. Here are a few of the kinds of images that can help brighten up even the most taxing day on the job.

Landscape Images

“Quiet” – by Craig Shand

In moments of stress, mentally placing yourself in the grandeur of a tropical island, sprawling countryside or snow-blanketed mountaintop can help give you a moment of pause to relax and regroup. Guided imagery, a form of stress management therapy, involves relaxing and deep breathing while “vividly imagining yourself in the most relaxing environment you can imagine.” Guided imagery is an actual therapeutic practice that you can learn more about here, but having a great landscape photo or painting within eyesight can certainly help embrace the concept. Think of the place that makes you feel most centered, then search for art that helps you escape the moment. 

Images of Nature

“Tupil Study 17” – by Marc Kittner

Similar to landscapes, connecting with nature can be an instant mood booster. In fact, the health benefits of nature have been well-researched, with studies correlating nature experiences with improved psychological and physiological well-being.

Although we’re not necessarily claiming that images of nature carry these same benefits, what’s interesting is that research has found that simulated nature—in the form of virtual reality—may have comparable mental health benefits to actually being outdoors. Again, we’re not psychologists, but seems at least plausible that immersing one’s self in a captivating photo of the great outdoors can provide a much-needed calming effect amid the workday hustle. 

Looking for some great landscape or nature images? Check out Your Art Gallery to browse and purchase from renowned local artists.

Images of Personal Significance

“New Morning” – by Sergio Costa

This one may sound a little cheesy, but images that evoke memories of your favorite people, places and occasions are a great way to help you feel centered at the office. Find a few of your favorite photos of family, friends, pets, special places or momentous events, and have them printed, framed or bound into a photo book that you can keep close as a reminder of the things you love and cherish—especially at times when your job isn’t quite one of them.