6 Ways Creativity Can Improve Health
Being creative can make you feel great, but how does it impact your mind and body? Research suggests that spending time in a creative state can actually improve your health. There are plenty of ways that creativity can improve your quality of life, but here are 6 ways it can help your mind and body.
Better Brain Function
Taking some time in your day to be creative has been associated with improved brain function. For example, people who play instruments have more synthesis between their left brain, which is responsible for motor skills, and the right brain, which is where the melody is developed. The connectivity between these two segments results in better cognitive function, including learning, memory, attention, problem solving and critical thinking. Stimulating both halves often allows a balanced development of analytical skills as well as subjective creativity. Likewise, playing music can also foster language development in children because it helps them remember words and phrases better.
Developed Emotional Intelligence
Engaging in creative activities can help children develop their emotional intelligence. For kids, creative play is one of the most important forms of creativity. When kids engage in creative play, they use everyday items in new and different ways or engages in role play. So when kids turn pots and pans into a drum set or become zookeepers for whatever's printed on their animal socks, they could be learning social competence, how to understand their feelings or sensory skills.
Improved Mental Health
Adults and children can see the benefits of creativity in their mental health. There's a creative state called flow where a person experiences greater focus and complete engagement in an enjoyable creative process. It's in this state that feel-good chemicals are released in the brain, like dopamine, that can make you feel motivated and happy. This newfound motivation and happiness can impact other areas of your life, which can result in feeling better overall. Writing, for instance, has been shown to help some folks work out negative feelings in a positive way, and that may help provide insight and relief from feelings of sadness or anxiety.
Stress is a major component of mental health issues for many people. Lately, mental health professionals who work with stressed patients have been recommending art therapy practices. You may have seen some of the more popularized versions of art as therapy, like adult coloring books. Believe it or not, art therapy practices can help you enter the flow state. In addition to making you feel happy and motivated, dopamine released during flow can also help to relieve tension and stress. Reducing stress may even help with health issues like high blood pressure.
Increased Physical Health
Some creative outlets can even improve your immunity. It's been suggested that writing daily can boost your lymphocyte count, which is one of the most vital parts of a strong immune system. Likewise, there's evidence that suggests listening to music helps restore immune function. So the next time you're sick in bed, try listening to some music in addition to caring for your symptoms. When it comes to brain health, creativity can help treat patients with dementia by allowing them to remember personality traits and improve sensory function. On the other hand, some creative endeavors, like playing drums, have cardiovascular and strengthening benefits.
Enhanced Personal Insight
Throughout history, artists have delved into their psyches to create some of the world's most loved masterpieces. However, you don't have to be a master of the craft to get more insight into who you are and what you want through creativity. Engaging with writing prompts can provide you with some objective introspection about things that may be troubling you or that you're trying to figure out. Learning about yourself can help you experience a better sense of self, which has been associated with higher self-esteem.
Creativity can be a great tool to stimulate better health in your mind and body. Try out a few ways to get the benefits.
Every individual has some interests and hobbies they have left behind with time and other commitm