Take Photos, Chill Out

 August 15th is National Relaxation Day—but really, shouldn’t we be able to relax every day?

Photography is one of the best ways to ditch the daily grind, even if it’s just for 30 minutes. Whether you’re a full-time photographer or casual snapper, let the focus calm your nerves and the art relax your mind.

Photography Benefits Mental Health

There are many organizations dedicated to using photography as a means of maintaining mental health, and even treating mental illness. A New York Times article explains how one woman found comfort in photography during her deepest bout of depression, an experience that inspired her to create a collective for photographers affected by mental illness. In Canada, the PhotoTherapy Centre has been studying and using the concept of therapeutic photography for decades. These are just two examples apart from the many personal stories of photographers who believe in photography as a form of therapy.

See the World

Oftentimes, our anxieties stem from worries and fears involving ourselves.

“Am I making enough money?”

“Am I healthy?”

“What does so-and-so think of me?”

Not only can photography literally take you away from your thoughts, it also forces you to instead think about composition, lighting and the many other elements of an image. It’s the simplest, most organic way to see more of what’s out there (as in, the world) and less of what’s in there (as in, your head). When you’re shooting a photograph, it’s not about you at all—and that’s relaxing.

Feel Young

Feel like you’re getting too old, too fast? A German study found that “the production of visual art improves effective interaction” between parts of the brain, potentially delaying or negating age-related decline in brain functions.

In other words, shooting photos might help you age more gracefully. This makes perfect sense considering how photography keeps your brain firing on all cylinders. And because it doesn’t have to be physically demanding, it’s a craft you can continue for your entire life.

 

Be Motivated

It’s interesting how our laziest days can be our most stressful. You’re watching TV shows filled with conflict, ruminating about all the work you’re not doing…and, let’s be real, the gym is totally not happening today.

The next time you find yourself stuck in this cycle, go out and shoot! Motivating yourself to take a photo walk is much easier than trying to get up for a run. And between carrying your gear, getting to your destination and exploring, you could very well release some endorphins in the same vein as working out. Every time you experience photography’s positive effects on your mind, you will be more inclined to do it again.

Have Something to Show

The best part of photography? You never leave empty-handed. The images you capture are truly and uniquely yours. Be sure to upload them onto Your Art Gallery for people to see, appreciate and purchase! And remember:

Relax.