Neuroaesthetics and the Science of Beauty


I love it when science confirms what we intuitively know to be good for us. Beauty is one of those aspects of life that make us feel good, but also has a biological effect on us that is beneficial to our health and well-being. And the field of study that looks at this phenomenon is called Neuroaesthetics. 

Neuroaesthetics combines various disciplines like neuroscience, psychology and art to examine the impact beauty has on the brain. When we see something beautiful, our brains release dopamine. As we’ve discussed in detail, dopamine is a powerful molecule responsible for motivation and reward, like feelings of pleasure or joy. 

Also, when we hear something beautiful, or read something beautiful, or get out in nature, we activate reward pathways and enhance blood flow to the brain. Exposure to beauty in these many forms also lowers blood pressure, improves mood, and decreases cortisol levels, thereby reducing stress.

Research also shows that beauty promotes prosocial behaviors. Especially when experiencing beauty and wonder with others. This activity benefits well-being by deepening social connections and relationships.

Daily Beauty

In today’s day and age, we need all the beauty we can get. And it doesn’t need to be extravagant. Incorporating beauty into our daily lives is a necessity. 

So, make it a point to consume beauty every day. Pay attention to the sunrise and sunset. Listen to classical music. Read poetry. Feel the sand between your toes as the waves splash over your feet. Stop and actually smell the roses. 

Also, make it a point to produce beauty. Whether that’s in the form of writing, music, art, carpentry or even technology through your daily work. Beauty does wonders for the brain and overall health and well-being. The more beauty you surround yourself with and immerse yourself in, the better your life will be.

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