You Never Need a Reason to Create

A study sponsored by the National Institute for Mental Health and the National Endowment for the arts found that seniors who engage in creative activities enjoy better health, have fewer doctor’s visits, and use less medications than seniors who were not creatively active.

But the benefits of creativity are not limited to seniors. All of us can benefit. Researchers believe creative activities can reduce stress as it fully engages our attention, reducing the cognitive resources that can be devoted to processing stressful stimuli.

It is also thought that it may help modulate the neurotransmitter norepinephrine. High levels of this neurochemical are linked to stress, while lower levels are thought to promote creative thought. No matter what the mechanism, creativity promotes better health.

The link between creativity and better mental and physical health has been well established by numerous studies. Creating has the ability to make one happier, less stressed and anxious, more resilient and better able to stand up to life’s challenges. Excessive stress can lead to weight gain, elevated glucose levels, upper-respiratory infections and heart disease.

And you don’t need a reason to create. Most adults seem to feel that everything we do must have a purpose. As a kid, you didn’t need a reason to create – maybe you built a castle in the sand or a spaceship out of LEGO. You created those things because you felt like it and it was fun. Bring back that mindset to spur your creativity today. Create just for the sake of creating.

Take time to find a way to recharge your creative energy by going for a walk, spending time in nature, listening to music or even studying paintings and photographs. Experiencing another culture through a good novel or traveling with the purpose of truly understanding a different culture and way of life that is radically different from your own can also help inspire creativity.

There are so many ways to get creative, here are just a few ideas:

  • Learn to play a new musical instrument.
  • Take art, film-making or photography lessons.
  • Regularly express yourself through a variety of creative activities such as depicting your feelings by using watercolors, colored markers or even crayons. Just draw whatever comes to mind.
  • Get a set of LEGO and build a castle or anything else your imagination might conjure.
  • Plant a garden.
  • Write in a journal.
  • Start a do-it-yourself home project.

guitarThe options are practically endless! Whenever something strikes a spark of interest within you, follow it. Come up with as many ideas as possible, no matter how unlikely. Creativity can significantly contribute to your overall well-being and happiness. Being creative for the sake of it is an important part of life that many of us lost sight of somewhere between childhood and adulthood. It’s time to bring it back.

-The Alternative Daily


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