Staring at peaceful scenes of nature creates a calming, pain-reducing effect in viewers. According to studies:
Test the effects of these nine pain-reducing nature scenes.
Religious images of the Virgin Mary have been found to reduce pain in Catholics: "Roman Catholics felt less pain than atheists and agnostics when they were shown a painting of the Virgin Mary." The assembled collection here also includes a picture of the Virgin Mary.
Viewing pictures of a romantic partner has also been found to reduce pain, but personal images of romantic partners could not be included here, for obvious reasons.
Lechtzin, N., Busse, A., Smith, M., Grossman, S., Nesbit, S., & Diette, G. (2010). A Randomized Trial of Nature Scenery and Sounds Versus Urban Scenery and Sounds to Reduce Pain in Adults Undergoing Bone Marrow Aspirate and Biopsy The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 16 (9), 965-972 DOI: 10.1089/acm.2009.0531
Younger, J., Aron, A., Parke, S., Chatterjee, N., & Mackey, S. (2010). Viewing Pictures of a Romantic Partner Reduces Experimental Pain: Involvement of Neural Reward Systems PLoS ONE, 5 (10) DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0013309
Wiech, K., Farias, M., Kahane, G., Shackel, N., Tiede, W., & Tracey, I. (2008). An fMRI study measuring analgesia enhanced by religion as a belief system PAIN, 139 (2), 467-476 DOI: 10.1016/j.pain.2008.07.030
Pixabay Nature Art
John DiPrete is a Web designer with a passion for neuroscience, art, and business. His work has appeared in MacWorld, Perceptual and Motor Skills, Medical Hypotheses, Speculations in Science and Technology, among other outlets. His Web site (www.MindBluff.com) has been recommended by PC World Online. His most recent project is www.EmbodiCog.com. (Contact: John@embodicog.com)