Everybody possesses creativity, whether through music, visual art, writing, or other expressive forms. Being creative can improve one’s health. One doesn’t have to be extraordinarily talented in their endeavors; the simple act of creating can improve a variety of mental and physical health issues.
Anxiety and Depression
Anxiety and depression can have many causes, such as trauma, family history, or devastating events. Building or creating something can help focus and calm the mind and body because it releases dopamine in the body, a natural antidepressant. In cases of trauma, writing can help sufferers confront and deal with memories and negative emotions. Keep in mind that creativity should focus on creating, not any feedback of criticism that creativity might elicit. Criticism might backfire and create disappointment or feelings of low self-esteem.
Dementia and Cognitive Decline
Research suggests that engaging in creative activities like drawing can help dementia patients keep their senses sharp and help them stay connected with aspects of their personalities. Being creative also helps patients combat the isolation and depression that are incidental to dementia and other diseases associated with cognitive decline.
A robust immune system is vital for the body to combat infections and illnesses. Listening to and singing along with music can improve immune function. Also, writing and journaling are immunity boosters.
Stress truly is the silent killer, and it affects virtually everyone. Fortunately, people can combat stress by getting absorbed in a task or being in a state of flow. When people are so engrossed in something, like writing a short story or working on a sculpture, they lose their sense of time and place, slowing the heart rate and reducing stress. Activities like sewing, knitting, or drawing require repetitive motions, which release dopamine and relieve stress.
Creativity can do wonders for physical and mental health, and it gives people a sense of self-worth and satisfaction. It’s essential to focus more on creating and less on the self-critique that often comes from creativity. Another recommendation is not to expect so much from one’s creative endeavors that the act of creating feels too much like work.