Looking for a beautiful thing

Added: Darah Samayoa - Date: 08.05.2022 23:21 - Views: 15294 - Clicks: 7665

It depicts lunch at a country home. There is a silver teapot, a glass, and a bowl of fruit on the table. sits on the ground nearby. A woman in a white dress glides past in the background. Yet it is beautiful for its very mundaneness. The usually humdrum act of taking lunch is elevated because it is rendered with detail, because it is frozen in a grand tableau.

Beauty tends to feel like something that must be found in special places—parks and museums, galleries and exotic cities. Lunch is not a place one would normally think to look. But finding beauty in normal activities can bring deep happiness to life, studies show.

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Instead, happiness is most easily attained by living in an aesthetically beautiful city. The things people were constantly surrounded by—lovely architecture, history, green spaces, cobblestone streets—had the greatest effect on their happiness. The cumulative positive effects of daily beauty worked subtly but strongly.

In an attempt to measure this daily happiness, George MacKerron, now a lecturer at the University of Sussex, created an iPhone application called Mappiness when he was a graduate student at the London School of Economics. More than 45, people now use it, and the concept is simple: The app beeps twice a day and asks a series of questions, such as: How happy are you feeling?

How awake do you feel? How relaxed are you? Then it asks another set of questions question to contextualize your situation: Who are you with? Are you inside or outside? Deceptively simple, the answers to these questions provide a lot of information on happiness. The times that people recorded the highest levels of happiness and life satisfaction were during sexually intimate moments on a date, kissing, or having sex and during exercise when endorphins are being released. But the next three types of moments where people recorded the highest levels of happiness were Looking for a beautiful thing related to beauty: when at the theater, ballet, or a concert; at a museum or an art exhibit; and while doing an artistic activity e.

Even sexually intimate moments could be argued to be rooted in beauty: Presumably, people think their partners are beautiful. What one feels in the Westminster Cathedral, however, is a calmness brought on by a series of architectural and artistic decisions: the muted colors greys and bleak redsthe romantic yellow lighting that bursts out onto Victoria Street, the intricate mosaics, and the vaulted ceilings. But if beauty is always dangerous, it is also a pressing human concern that we must seek to understand, and not suppress.

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The most common explanation for the connection between happiness and beauty is based on economics and evolution. The reason for this, the paper concludes, is that prettier people tend to make more money, and it is this financial leg up that affords beautiful people great happiness. From an evolutionary standpoint, beauty can make us happy because attractiveness implies health, which in turn implies strong reproductive capabilities, which allows us to attract more successful mates.

People's physical beauty can help with dating and often it spells a path to economic success. But the beauty around us—the sky-high nave of the Westminister Cathedral, the ability to appreciate a simple lunch—offers hope that life can inch closer to perfection. Beauty often starts with something small.

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For the participants in the Goldberg study, it is about the appearance of a city; in the Monet painting, it is the appreciation of eating in the countryside; for Plato and many other philosophers, beauty is about achieving knowledge. But just because beauty can begin with the appreciation of colors, cuisine, and colonnades does not make it a superficial pursuit. Popular Latest. The Atlantic Crossword. In Subscribe. Did Pfizer Peak Too Soon? Brendan Borrell.

Looking for a beautiful thing

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