This time of year, the environment blossoms with a creative variety of sensations. New colors, smells, sounds, and textures arrive for us to notice and enjoy. Mindfulness describes taking time to notice this display. In any environment, actively observing the art around us, rather than the blur or bustle of other thoughts may increase our ability to relax, focus, and return to our daily lives.
Research has demonstrated that witnessing creative processes can be just as soothing as being the artist. Therefore, when we watch nature take its artistic liberties, we can retain an inner resource for wellness. On the other hand, we may participate in nature-based creation by using the tools around us, whether its building elaborate sandcastles or balancing smooth stones.
One artist who takes advantage of natural art is Andy Goldsworthy. This artists uses only the materials surrounding him to create his pieces (viewable online at www.goldsworthy.cc.gla.ac.uk). A Film entitled “Rivers and Tides ” depicts Goldsworthy’s process of interacting with nature to make art (part of which you may view through You Tube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3TWBSMc47bw).
Regardless of your ability to retreat into a natural environment, we are each surrounding be a variety of sensations. Take time to use these external resources as tools to increase your mental health.