What does it mean to be creative? For some people being creative is exploring an artistic passion; for others, it's thinking outside the box. Some people rely on their creativity to earn a living, and others just like to explore their creativity in their downtime. But did you know that creativity is good for your overall health? Keep reading to find out how you can utilize your creativity to improve mental health conditions and physical health benefits!
What If I'm Not Creative?
Some people don't consider themselves creative, but that's simply not true. There are so many levels of creativity. It's human nature to be creative! Early humans had to be creative to obtain food. How do you think fire was discovered or the wheel was invented if not for creativity? Those are examples of out-of-the-box thinking, but there's clear evidence of creative artistic pursuits of early humans in the form of cave paintings. Being creative is just what human beings do, but how you express it sets people apart. Being creative is not limited to artistic activities.
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Too often, people lump creativity with being good at something, and therefore, being able to earn money from it. Creativity doesn't have to connect to profit directly! You can and should enjoy creative pursuits regardless of how much money you make from them. You don't even have to be "good" at a creative activity to enjoy it. The point of creative ventures is to express yourself, try something new, or do something out of the ordinary! Having fun with creativity is a vital component of the process.
Benefits of Creativity
Creative Expression is Good for Brain Function and Mental Health
Creativity has a considerable impact on brain function and is a necessary component of holistic health. Having creative outlets can make for a happier, healthier, and less stressed-out brain. When you're absorbed in a creative project, it tends to reduce anxiety and negative emotions, slow your heart rate, and improve your mood. When you succeed in creating something, the brain responds by producing dopamine, a chemical responsible for good feelings, positive emotions, and happiness, which motivates you to keep creating.
Creativity has been compared to meditation in terms of positive effects on the brain. Studies have shown that exploring creativity can help reduce depression, depressive symptoms, and anxiety and help process trauma.
Creative ventures can also effectively combat depression and isolation in patients with dementia or with other cognitive decline illnesses.
Creative Activity Brain Facts:
Listening to music has been known to decrease anxiety, lift a negative mood, and lower blood pressure.
Additional studies show that expressive writing can help people process events, experiences, and emotion. Writing is considered to have a positive impact on one's mental health.
Playing an instrument improves connectivity between the left and right sides of the brain leading to better cognitive function.
Visual art therapy is a helpful activity to engage in when dealing with a severe illness such as cancer. Art therapy gives the patient a reprieve from worrying and dwelling on their illness.
Creative Expression is Good for Physical Health
Studies have found that the benefits from creative expression don't just stop at mental health but extend into physical health as well. Creative pursuits can help people deal with chronic pain, strengthen immune systems, and rehab patients' motor skills. Activities like music therapy and singing have also been known to reduce inflammation, alleviating stress on joints!
Some creative activities are more physically engaging than others. Acting, dancing, yoga, gardening, and sculpting can be some good ways to get yourself up and moving.
Creative Activities Ideas to Incorporate in Your Life
Are you looking for new creative pursuits to reap the positive effects on health? Well, here's a list of artistic expression ideas to get you started!
Learning to play an instrument
Hopefully, this blog sheds some light on how creativity impacts our overall health! I hope you'll find some time in your day to pursue a creative pastime that improves your quality of life and puts you in a positive mood. Have fun, be creative, and happy writing!