Creativity Can Can Be A Real Mood Booster
Not too long ago I had a rather narrow view of creativity AND I was unaware of the health benefits. Painting, drawing, sculpting, music - basically anything you might find in the Fine Arts/Music or Theater Department of an educational institution, that was my narrow definition of creativity. As for health benefits, once I understood the wide swath of activities that are considered creative, I could see how those that I participated in were "feel goods." Either the process or the product, often and ideally both, drive me to want more of those activities.
What kind of creativity to do you enjoy? Read on to figure out why and how you may want to come back to it again and again, or try something new.
In her 2018 Article for Forbes magazine, "Here's How Creativity Actually Improves Your Health," Ashley Stahl notes that "the Theory of Cognition actually postulates that creativity is a basis for human life." Wow, that's a powerful statement! Here are some of the science proven benefits of creative endeavor:
Increases happiness through the release of dopamine with an enjoyable activity and finished product
Can reduce dementia by helping people tap back in to their personalities and sharpen senses
This is one we talk about often in our work at breathein2it - If a person has between 30 and 60,000 swirling thoughts per day, many of which are past and future and keep us from being calm and present, a creative act helps focus the mind and has even been compared to meditation in this way. Creativity can reduce anxiety, stress and depression and help process trauma. Dopamine to the rescue again!
Journaling has been studied to show that it increases your CD4= lymphocyte count, a key immune system ingredient. Listening to music can also boost immunity.
Creativity can "make you smarter." Activities that call on both the right and left brain to connect, like playing an instrument, boost cognitive function.
When you think of creativity, what comes to mind?
The Cambridge Dictionary defines creativity as , "the ability to produce or use artistic expression."
Synonyms and examples include imagination, vision, inventiveness, ingenuity and originality. With all
this in mind, here is a very partial list of what can be included under the category of creative endeavor:
organizing a room or a drawer or a closet
decorating for a holiday
planning a fun trip
writing a story
writing a letter
creating a social media post
learn something new and extrapolate ideas
solving a problem at work or home by thinking outside the box
making a snowman
creating a new outfit
finding ways to be more money savvy
writing a blog;)
taking pictures of nature on a walk and sending them
figuring out to help others during COVID
simplifying your life
playing with kids toys with them
stopping a project at end of the day and start fresh again the next day
forming relationships and talk with people whoa are different from you
building with Legos
figuring out the right questions to figure out a problem
And finally, in her E-book "How to Be More Creative - A Handbook for Alchemists," Mare Lisa gives 25 ways to HELP you be more creativity in whatever endeavors you may choose. Here are just 9 or those 25:
simply begin (sometimes the hardest part right?)
change perspectives, literally or figuratively
look to nature for solutions - nature immersion opens up the creative mind
wake up your right brain with meditation
re-connect with your inner child - toys, joy, uninhibited!
ask ALOT of questions
be alone if possible
Now we know the benefits, the scope and the boosters! We are at a time of year, the dark time of year, in the midst of a global pandemic that has many of us either isolated, in a nerve wracking public service position, not feeling well ourselves, squirming financially, or squished into out homes with loved but noisy roomies of all ages. We need a relaxing, mindful outlet. We need the good chemicals and all the benefits. Got some Legos lying around? What if you just sat and built something. Got a piece of paper? Jot down a one page kid's story or the comedy/drama of your day.
If we can tap into just a bit of mindful creativity every day, we could get a real boost.
Don't judge, just create.
Don't wait, just dive in.
I will lead the charge by taking a work break to make my son a "surprise lunch" like I used to when he was small. Surprise! I'm back! Grilled cheese cabins and tomato soup lakes anyone? (yes, fish crackers included;).