By Jackie White
Creativity is one of the most underrated and under utilized ways to take a break from life’s stressors. Creativity can actually help reduce stress and can improve your health. Taking the time to engage in something creative allows you to take a break and it gives your mind a chance to relax.
What happens is sort of miraculous in a sense. Just by doing something creative, which by the way is enjoyable for most, you can positively affect your own mental and physical health. What happens is that when you create your brain takes a vacation from your troubles and can create a sense of calm in you that is similar to meditating. You can also get yourself into a mental state called flow where you lose track of time because you are enjoying the activity so much. Being in flow also induces feelings of relaxation and release. Finally, you can also feel energized by leaving your worries behind and focusing on an activity that you enjoy.
Are you convinced yet that making time to be creative is important? If not, then just like a bad infomercial, we can tell you there’s more! When you engage in a creative outlet you can get smarter, get happier and be more mentally fit to handle life’s challenges!
Get Creative, Get Smarter
Being creative has this incredible effect on your brain and total wellness. Creativity can be a very complex process, thus, it engages multiple areas of the brain thereby increasing brain plasticity, meaning your brain’s ability to re-wire it’s connections. A well connected brain can result in increased intelligence. Who wouldn’t want that?
Get Creative, Get Happier
Serotonin, the happy hormone, is released when your brain is creatively engaged. Serotonin is a natural antidepressant that can reduce feelings of anxiety, depression and stress. So, yes, getting creative can make you a happier person!
Get Creative and Release the Emotional Baggage
Working through emotions by utilizing creativity can be very effective. Art therapy and music therapy are two therapies that have gained popularity in recent years.These therapies can help those with memory issues and trauma by providing a vehicle to communicate when words fail.
You don’t have to go through a therapy program to reap the benefits of utilizing art to work through your own emotions. Coupling art with journaling can be a very therapeutic way to process emotions.
But What if You Aren’t Creative?
Here is a newsflash: everyone can be creative! Does being creative mean you are a critically acclaimed artist? Nope. Does it mean you must perform at certain levels of competency to achieve the benefits of being creative? Nope. You just have to engage in something creative. That’s it. That's all. For inspiration on how easy it can be to get creative, check out the book called “Steal Like an Artist” by Austin Kleon.
What is Considered Creativity?
There are so many ways to be creative: it could be painting, drawing, playing music, sewing, building, gardening, cooking, writing, participating in a play or singing a song. The ways to be creative are unending! Find one that interests you and get to being creative!
Easy Do It Yourself Creative Escapes
Here’s some good news, getting creative is easier than it’s ever been! There are adult coloring books that have hit the market in recent years providing for a creative outlet that needs little preparation.You can gather some friends and make a night of it by attending a local paint night or DIY workshop. You can take a class in almost anything you want to learn and some very affordable options are classes available online. Pinterest is also chocked full of creative ideas for all skill levels.
Personally, I am an advocate of just grabbing some materials and just beginning. Enjoy the process and don’t stress over the quality of the output. Just revel in the enjoyment of the activity and the benefits you are receiving!
Great creative, get healthy and shine on!
Erika Fehrenbach Prell is passionate about inspiring and educating, others on their path to complete wellness-mind,body, and soul. This desire led Erika to the helping profession of nursing, and she obtained her Master's Degree as a Nurse Practitioner in 2007. Erika specialized in cardiac surgery, largely influenced by her personal experience with heart disease. While she loved working with this population, her heart's desire has always been to impact lives on a larger scale and from a proactive, not reactive, place. The universe answered when her path crossed with Jackie and SoulShine was born. Erika finally feels she is walking in her purpose and is excited for this journey to unfold.