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2015 / April

Spring ahead

8th April 2015

The clocks have sprung forward giving us an extra hour of light. We’re sat back waiting for the sun to get the memo and enjoying noticing the changes in nature around us. Exposure to sunlight and lighter days have well known benefits to wellbeing, in particular our stress levels, and the Start2 team have compiled a few suggestions for April from our stress-busting section

 

Out and about

What have you noticed happening outdoors in nature at this time of year? Why not create a Media Album of photographs and/or drawings to look back on dreary days or share with others to boost their day?

You don’t even have to head for the country or local beauty spot, try our Ten-Minute Photo Walk to create a media album of interesting, everyday observations.

 

Rainy day and anytime stress busting

Research shows that by simply looking at art that we like can benefit us in a variety of ways. A response in the part of the brain associated with pleasure is triggered when looking at art that we consider beautiful. Similiarly when looking at beautiful art the brain’s electrical activity shows a reduced response to pain. Another study showed that city workers who made regular brief lunchtime visits to art galleries resulted in a significant reduction to the stress hormone, cortisol, and participants themselves stated that they felt less stressed as a result of their visit. Need we go on?... 


Start2 has created a Virtual Gallery tour using paintings from Manchester Art Gallery’s collection which have been chosen for the positive thoughts and feelings they evoke. Follow the trail, view the paintings and reflect on the related questions. Then, why not note down the questions and take them with you to a local art gallery and find a landscape artwork and ask yourself the questions that you jotted down? Or even use your own artwork - photographs or paintings - in this stress-less activity.

 

If you do have any artworks that soothe and relax you perhaps you’d like to share those with folks over at Project Soothe so that others can reap the benefits too. Project Soothe invites the public to help then to create a bank of soothing images that they can use in future research and psychotherapy. Visit their website to find out more about their project and the team behind it. You may also be interested in taking part in their online survey to aid them with their research. And with every photograph submitted you’re automatically entered into their competition to win some fabulous prizes.
Read more about Project Soothe here. 

 

Start2 on the road

We’ve been busy with our friends at LGBT Foundation, facilitating a relaxing creative wellbeing workshop for their Befriender’s Day celebration aimed to boost confidence. The group created confidence blooming flowers with inspirational and mood boosting quotes, which also doubled as cards, perfect for themselves, friends or family. (See the photo above. To view more images from the day please click here).

 

“I really enjoyed sitting and creating a piece of artwork that I’m proud of.”

 

“I found this really relaxing and absorbing. I can’t believe it’s time to go already!”

 

If you’re interested in having a workshop tailored to your group or organisation please contact Start2 - info@start2.co.uk

 

All the best

 

The Start2 team 

 

 

 

 

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