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15 Minutes to Happy

Dear Friends,

This week we would like to tell you about an article in The Atlantic by our favorite contributor, Arthur Brooks:

In this article, Arthur argues that “just like exercise and sleep, engaging with the arts is a necessity for a full and happy life”.  According to Arthur “two-thirds of U.S. adults say the arts ‘lift me up beyond everyday experiences.” The problem is we often see the arts as not serious enough to allow into our daily routine. People have “lives” and are busy  solving “real” problems. The arts just seem, well, superficial to many. This is disheartening, and Arthur makes the case that rather than delegating the arts to when we have time (meaning not often), we should be prioritizing them just as we do eating, sleeping, and exercising.

Arthur says, “The arts are the opposite of a diversion from reality; they might just be the most realistic glimpse we ever get into the nature and meaning of life… you’ll find your life getting fuller and happier”.

Here we want to spotlight a photograph by Mandy Seligman: 

Spider Web by Mandy Seligman
Trying to capture this spider web in the sun.

The argument is that the Arts elevate our moral focus – instead of just thinking about ourselves, we come to perceive the outside world. We become less centered on our own existence and start seeing what else is out there. The act of widening our view of the world reduces stress as a beneficial side effect.

But there is more – engaging in the Arts also broadens our emotional repertoire. The Arts inspire the whole range of human emotion and a daily dose of inspiration, or joy, or even sadness or fear can deepen our days.

Take a look at the article and maybe take Arthur’s advice— put 15 minutes of each day aside to experience a piece of the arts— be it music, art, poetry, literature, or to create your own like Mandy; take a moment to appreciate the beauty in the spider web that is life and try to capture it.

The SeeingHappy Team


The team here at SeeingHappy are all photographers who enjoy the process of creating memorable photos. We are a mix of educators striving to share their knowledge and psychologists dedicated to increasing happiness in the world.

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