It’s officially spring here in the U.S. After a particularly long winter, where plants, birds, wildlife, and even the sun seemed to go dormant, nature is reemerging. White crocuses and yellow daffodils poke out of the earth back east. Here in the West, Pal0 Verde trees have exploded in a riot of yellow blossoms.
I find tremendous beauty in nature and art, and it makes me feel good.
I walked my dogs this morning, all the while thinking about how to convey the power of noticing beauty in our lives. Without my camera, I made mental notes of the sights that gave me particular pleasure:
– a tiny hummingbird perched on the uppermost twig of a blossoming tree.
– the perfect 67 degree temperature, sunny and dry, with the sun still low in the sky.
– the rusty red, and rounded rock formations of Camelback Mountain creating an intimate and awesome backdrop.
– my neighbor playing catch with her young son as they awaited the school bus. In this case it wasn’t about physical beauty, but an appreciation of her actions. I witnessed a moment of excellent parenting; a beautiful thing.
Science has shown that noticing beauty and excellence in our surroundings can have a profound effect on our mood. For example, a New York Times article, “Why We Love Beautiful Things,” reported:
– “glancing at shades of green can boost creativity and motivation”
– “window views of landscapes…can speed patient recovery in hospitals, aid learning in classrooms and spur productivity in the workplace”
– viewing certain patterns and shapes (specifically fractals) “can reduce stress levels by as much as 60 percent.” (cool examples – especially this sea urchin)
If you are particularly responsive to beauty, sensitive to how it enriches your life, bolsters your mood, and contributes to your happiness, congratulations, you’re an aesthete. It’s a good thing, I promise. Not something to be trivialized, but rather cultivated and celebrated.
Maximize this strength by using it regularly. Surround yourself with sights, sounds, and experiences that lift your spirits. After all, you have sure-fire mood booster at your disposal — finding beauty.
Feel free to share your observations below. I’d love to hear from you.
WANT MORE? Join my FREE 10-day challenge – Boost Your Happiness by Finding Beauty. Each day becomes a treasure hunt!