The term “Evidence Based” is bandied around so much in regards to mental health these days, so let’s leap on that bandwagon too!
It may be interesting for you to know that many mental health practices are actually based on outdated & incorrect information that is well over fifteen years old! The data which I present here is only a few years old & there is always much more coming to light in regards of the arts & the multitude of mental health benefits that it offers in so many ways.
SEEING THROUGH NEW EYES
JOURNAL OF BASIC & APPLIED SCIENCES,
2015, 11, p354-358
The results of Jaime L. Kurtz’ study indicate that photography when undertaken ‘Mindfully’ alters the operators mood substantially and for the better! Something that I and many other photographers can attest to having occurred in our lives.
To be Mindful in the creation of a photograph, one must establish what they want to capture, why they want to capture that, what they are trying to convey, how to frame it, what to focus upon, how much and which parts to have in focus throughout the scene, how it will be exposed, etc… Many things are decided upon when creating a photographic picture, and it is this deep level of focus and concentration in combination with an instinctive searching and observing of ones surroundings that leads one to the easy to access experience of Mindfulness in photography.
Very interesting observations were gathered from this study.
That Mindful Photography is as effective as counting one’s blessings in a writing exercise is quite the surprise! That both of these activities lead to increased appreciation is good news indeed. That Mindful Photography was also the easiest accessible and least challenging as compared to thankful writing was also a pleasant surprise.
I am glad that Jaime L. Kurtz wrote the warning that there can be too much of a good thing in the final paragraph. I have personally found that around the two hour mark is the magic time limit with photography when focusing intently through Mindfulness.