We live in a very industrialized reality filled with technology and materialism. People have access to so much information, yet few are using that access in order to gain knowledge and wisdom. What’s worse, more and more people are only working towards money and extrinsic possessions instead of taking time to enrich their souls and intellect. Art in all of its forms, from movies to dancing, from music to comic books, develops many aspects of the personality, such as analytical thinking, creativity, patience, broader imagination, and last but not least, leads to higher levels of inner peace.

Next time you dismiss the value and place of art, here’s some food for thought on why going to a photography exhibition or buying a newly translated book from a foreign writer just might be what you need.

Encountering with art creates a link between the artist’s vision and the viewer’s own experience, which more often than not means that the observer goes back to his or her previously acquired knowledge and seeks for personal meaning. The bond gets finalized when the viewer recognizes themes that are of particular interest to him or her, for instance, black & white photography or a TV show that portrays what challenges long-distance couples struggle with.

'What art offers is space - a certain breathing room for the spirit.' Marco Paulo Lobaton | Flickr

‘What art offers is space – a certain breathing room for the spirit.’ Marco Paulo Lobaton | Flickr

As trivial as it may sound, people leave and memories fade, but art remains. In the case of facing disappointments, misfortunes or losing somebody, people usually like to spend some time alone. It is in these moments that the soul remembers the bond established with art and craves it as a substitute.

Paradoxically, art exposes people to the territory of solitude but it also makes them feel less alone. Whether you engage in the storyline of a novel, or listen to the lyrics of a song, you are magically transferred to a place far away from your worries.

'Sometimes I teach, sometimes I educate, but most of the time I learn.' Azli Jamil Photography | Flickr

‘Sometimes I teach, sometimes I educate, but most of the time I learn.’ Azli Jamil Photography | Flickr

Finding a state of peace after a long day at work or after a fight with your partner, for example, can be the most difficult part of life and it is through art that the mind best releases the accumulated stress in the organism. Reading has, in fact, many beneficial effects, such as expanding your vocabulary and improving the ability to focus and work under pressure, which over time leads to decreased levels of stress. Interestingly enough, immersing into the pages of a novel can guarantee you better sleep and also influence your empathy levels, according to this research article carried out in the Netherlands. Plus, reading is especially helpful when you’re dealing with depression or social anxieties.

Being exposed to art also increases your cultural knowledge and ability to adjust to new situations. A skilled dancer is one who not only enjoys dancing, but also loves meeting like-minded passionate people. Dancing, after all, is more or less a social hobby, even if most of what you’re feeling during a dance cannot be replicated into the other person and remains a unique experience.

Dance by Vladimir Pustovit | Flickr

Dance by Vladimir Pustovit | Flickr

So, just like with reading, dancing both pulls you closer to the inner essence that you’re made of and pushes you to discover the essence of others with similar interest in art.

Art is not merely thought-provoking, although the idea itself is enough to be attractive, it is also a source of inspiration.

“Good artists copy, great artists steal.” – Pablo Picasso

Even Steve Jobs, founder of one of the most successful companies today, Apple, agreed with that statement. It is never too late to get inspired and dive into the world of art. All it takes a different set of mind and a re-evaluation of your priorities. Once you set your attitude to possess a more artistic approach, changes in both your personal and professional life will appear soon enough.