Beautiful Things Make Us Happy. Why?

Painting of a ranch surrounded by red rock mesas under a New Mexico sky by Peggy Immel
Shadow Play by Peggy Immel

Why do we love beautiful things? Why do they give us joy and make us happy? It’s not easy to explain, but perhaps it’s as simple as, that’s how we’re wired. We like seeing beautiful things because they generate pleasant feelings and positive emotions. And why wouldn’t we love that?

That human sensation of being delighted by that which we perceive as appealing and beautiful sets us apart. It inspires us to design and create things that mirror what we see in nature. It pushes us to explore and experiment. It reminds us of our connection to the earth, to the world, to each other. It grounds us. It launches us.

“If you truly love nature, you will find beauty everywhere.”

– Vincent van Gogh

Although beauty in itself is not tangible, existing undefinable in our minds, its influence is universal. Throughout history, across cultures, and at all stages of life, humans have looked at beautiful things, collected beautiful things, created beautiful things, and been made happy by beautiful things. We know, without being told, that these beautiful things directly affect our minds and our hearts. We want to be near beauty, either in-person or through art. It calms us, heals us and motivates us.

“One of the first conditions of happiness is that the link between Man and Nature shall not be broken.”

– Leo Tolstoy

Since we know these things, we feel them in our very souls, let’s do something about it. Let’s give beauty more space in our personal environment. Let’s give beauty more opportunities to bring us happiness. Let’s surround ourselves and our loved ones with beautiful things.

“In every walk in nature, one receives far more than he seeks.”

– John Muir