Our brains are complicated, amazing machines. While neuroscience alone can’t resolve the psychological conflict and emotional pain that are addressed by trained therapists and counselors, it can provide fascinating insight into how we respond to our experiences. Recently, neuroscience has showed us more about how the brain perceives art and music. Art activates the brain’s “reward” centers, providing the same stimulation we can get from taking drugs or gambling. Similarly, music triggers a rush in dopamine, which is released into the brain when we have sex or eat food that we enjoy. The next time you’re tempted to self-soothe your blues or anger with binge eating or even more harmful vices, try an alternate approach. A healthy meal and a walk through a local art gallery or a listen to your favorite CD can be equally rewarding, and far more beneficial, than the alternatives.
© Copyright 2011 by By Noah Rubinstein, LMFT, LMHC, therapist in Olympia, Washington. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to GoodTherapy.org.
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