Lots of studies have shown that creativity can improve immune function, raise energy levels, build self-confidence, and reduce stress--So, here are some tips from the experts at Health magazine to help you "create your way" to health:
- First, most people don't believe they're creative. But it's easier to become creative than you think. In a recent study, a group of self-described "non-creative" people were given weekly lessons in a variety of subjects. After 1 year, not only could all of them paint, write poetry and read music, but they also had more energy for volunteering, part-time work, hobbies and classes. Bottom line: learning something new is a catalyst for doing even more. And once you find the joy of creativity and experimentation, you'll want to do it again and again.
- Still don't think you can be creative? Well, can you sit down at the dinner table and launch into a blow-by-blow description of your day? Then you're already practicing the art of self-expression. By keeping a journal of your positive and negative emotions in everyday life, you can improve your immune function, have less chronic pain, and use less medication.
- But if you're still convinced you can't be creative, you can still blow off stress by getting in "the flow." Whether it's planting a garden, painting a wall, or even scrubbing the kitchen cupboards, anything that makes you lose track of time, puts you in "the flow". And whenever you're in the flow, your brain releases calming, feel-good chemicals to soothe away your stress.