You know, the older we get, the less creative we become, or should I say allow creative space in our lives. We are so caught up with chores and tasks, family, work, technology, stress, anxiety blah blah blah....... there is no time left for creative endeavours anymore. Mental health is headlining ALL THE TIME, with depression hitting levels we have never seen before, and hitting the much younger in age. We all know that social media has a part to play, as well as the use of tech in our homes. But what if I told you that creativity can help.
If you were to google mental health and creativity, you would find a wealth of information, scientifically based proving how beneficial creativity can be, from writing, to craft, art, designing, gardening, playing a musical instrument, singing in a choir, colouring in books........the list is almost endless. Yet, we don't give ourselves permission or the time to engage in them. Well, I hope by the time you finish reading this article, you'll change your mind!
Have you heard the term 'Flow' before? Well, an interesting term that describes the state of mind that you enter when you are working on a creative project and have completely lost all sense of time and are completely absorbed in what you are doing. Well, that's flow. What does it do? It reduces anxiety, improves your mood and even slows down your heart rate, and that's just the beginning. When you repetitively engage in a creative activity, like painting, knitting or gardening, it helps to activate flow and create an end result. When you create that end result, your brain is flooded with dopamine which is the feel good chemical that helps to motivate you. I can testify to that! This morning I needed to cut the grass, but I lacked motivation! Writing is a creative activity, and guess what, my motivation to cut the grass has emerged.....to such an extent that I am pausing my blog right here to sort it out! Be back in a jiffy.........
There, job done.
So what else can a creative exercise do for you. Creativity has been shown to improve the health of dementia patients, reducing depression and isolation and opening up pathways in the brain to peoples emotional interiors. It improves mental health, focuses the mind and has been compared to meditation. Creativity has a calming effect on the brain and the body and is a natural anti-depressant. It reduces anxiety and stress and can help people process trauma. It boosts the immune system, with studies showing that those that engage regularly with creativity have a stronger immune system.
In short, IT'S VERY GOOD FOR YOU.........As a child we learnt through creativity, as we grow older, creativity should become a regular activity that grounds us as human beings. It's a gift that we have been given, and not just for those that have a talent towards it. You don't have to be an artist, musician or writer to engage in creativity, we all should! The results speak for themselves.
So why not pick up a creative hobby today, and start seeing the benefits.