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Can Literature And Arts Make Our Lives Happier?

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It is commonly said that art and literature reflect life. They highlight human beings’ innermost thoughts, emotions, and complexities that cannot be expressed freely in any other form. But do they bring joy and happiness to our lives?

Art and literature are more or less a depiction and expression of many things that a human being goes through. They also represent the world and our relation to the people and phenomena around us. For instance, literature brings out the deeply hidden psychological areas and emotional aspects. Fine arts, similarly, can speak a thousand words and stories without even saying or writing a word. The colors, texture, composition, and imagery make the art speak for itself.

This again raises the question of happiness. Are these beneficial in bringing out happiness for humans in daily life?

Well, yes, in many ways.

First, art in any form is are a form of catharsis for humans. The things that cannot be spoken or expressed openly can be shown through art or literature. This gives a sense of relief to the writer/painter who releases all the innermost help emotions and ideas. Once all are written down, the writer feels happy.

“One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and, if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words.” —Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Second, art and literature show one’s talent and artistic capabilities. These can be further polished and can become a source of recognition and popularity. In this sense, the most talented artists and writers are respected everywhere. They are considered the true representatives of their society.

“Our truest response to the irrationality of the world is to paint or sing or write, for only in such response do we find truth.” —Madeleine L’Engle

Third, art and literature represent one’s culture and values. They are a reflection of many things that are followed by a particular cultural group. They are also a window to experiencing the true and actual essence of any culture. Thus, associating one’s cultural identity with literature and art brings in a sense of belonging and satisfaction for the artists and the audience as well.

“That is part of the beauty of all literature. You discover that your longings are universal longings, that you’re not lonely and isolated from anyone. You belong.” ― F. Scott Fitzgerald

Fourth, art and literature can physiologically bring happiness to the mind and body. When a person involves in the process of creation and self-actualization, their bodies release dopamine, a happy chemical in the brain. This makes the person feel proud of their creation and happy about their talent. Thus, even the brain and body feel pleasure and satisfaction through the work of one’s creative genius. Besides, it also polishes a person’s problem-solving skills and makes them aware of all the aspects of a single thing. Therefore, analysis, observation, and critical thinking processes also get triggered.

“The role of the artist is to ask questions, not answer them.” —Anton Chekhov

Finally, art and literature are a source of escapism for some. In life’s difficult journey, some people find relief in artistic arenas. They consider these as a source of relief from daily life and its struggles. In this sense, art and literature become a source of escape, although temporary, from the stress, anxiety, and depression that life’s complexities bring.

“Literature is the most agreeable way of ignoring life.” ― Fernando Pessoa

Literature and art are not just for the highly talented ones, but even the audience can enjoy it by just observing it. A person finds himself/herself relieved and happy while being in the process of either reading, writing, painting, etc. This is because creative activities are a source of self-actualization that each human being wants. Thus, art and literature can make you happy, content, and satisfied with your talent and capabilities.

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