Think Less, Feel More.
When you are under stress or when you are analyzing or solving a problem, your brain activates its reward system. In the “conceptual mode,” the brain examines, judges, and plans, ready to go into the “doing” mode to get things done.
However, spending too much time in doing mode, completing tasks all the time, can have negative effects. The stress response system is activated, releasing adrenaline and cortisol. These are stress hormones. With time, they can weaken your immune system. What is more, our exhaustingly fast pace of life leaves little time to think clearly or make calm, well-balanced decisions. Every problem, no matter how little it is, is perceived as a threat, which leads us to get worried and react instead of responding to what is happening to us.
Taking a break and breathing helps us find our center and go back to our senses, often blurred as a result of stress. Calm breathing is a powerful tool to switch to the “being” mode.
Looking at art while practicing mindful breathing can be a good way of thinking less and feeling more, of connecting to the here and now, and of reducing stress and anxiety.
Yoko Ono, Hichiko Happo (2014)