The Benefits of Creativity on your Health…

By on October 8, 2014

Desiring to feel lighter, happier, have more ease, feel more fulfilled in your life?

Do you suffer from anxiety or depression?

Do you struggle trying to release unwanted weight?

Well, research is showing that creativity is essential to your happiness and health… and isn’t a waste of time. There is a strong connection between creative expression and overall wellbeing. In fact, the more stimulating your environment is and the more you are creating, the more powerful your brain is.

So if you hear that little voice in the back of your head desiring to make a drawing, throw a clay pot, dance, knit or take an acting class, listen because scientists are linking a lack of creativity in your life to depression, anxiety and weight gain.

Think you aren’t capable of creativity?

Creativity is often mistakenly labeled as a “natural” gift.  Experts say creativity is not a talent, but in fact, a learned, practiced and developed skill. Think about how long it takes to train a dancer, a singer or a pianist- it takes decades!!! The more you make creativity part of your daily life, the more you will grow and boost your happiness. You’ll notice how much lighter, happier, calmer and more fulfilled you feel!

Even if you don’t think you are a creative person… I can guarantee there is something creative or crafty you like to do (yes, that includes baking and cooking).

Experts say that anyone can be creative, we may have different types of creative skills but anyone has the ability as long as they keep an open mind.

Creativity boosts dopamine, a neurotransmitter that is released when you do something pleasurable. “Scientists believe dopamine was originally designed to make us repeat activities that would help the species survive, such as eating and having sex. Over time, we’ve evolved so that the brain can also release dopamine while we’re staining glass or decorating a cake”. (source: http://www.cnn.com/2014/03/25/health/brain-crafting-benefits/)

As an artist, this helped to explain why I would get so depressed when I wasn’t dancing or acting. I didn’t have knowledge of the scientific evidence at the time but I could feel the sadness and depressed state my body was in.

When we’re creative or creating art, we get into what therapist and psychologists call your “flow”. This is basically a state of getting so immersed in something that we don’t pay attention to anything else.

Experts suggest that getting into your “flow” can produce substantial happiness, the kind that lasts longer than the pleasure we get from eating a good brownie or cookie.

Flow, according to psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, is the secret to happiness — a statement that supports decades of research.

He furthers, expounds on this in his 2004 TED talk, when he shares, “When we are involved in creativity, we feel that we are living more fully than during the rest of our life. You know that what you need to do is possible to do, even though difficult, and the sense of time disappears. You forget yourself. You feel part of something larger.”

When have you felt like that?

What were you doing?

When you are in a flow state you reduce stress on your body, you activate the parasympathetic nervous system (“rest and recover” response), which quiets your stress.  When we are stressed we are in what is called the “fight or flight response”. By the way, if you are trying to lose weight… your body has got to be in a state of “rest and recover” to do so. If it is always in a state of “fight or flight” it will be nearly impossible to lose weight because you will be constantly activating the stress hormone cortisol (the “belly fat” hormone).

Flow also quiets your internal chaos–>that chatter that is always going on in the back of your head :-).

Wow, wow, wow… Now who could call that a waste of time????

It matters!!! It soooooo matters…. because your happiness matters. Taking time to tap into your creativity is necessary for happiness!

What is the one creative activity you want to do this week to help decrease your stress and boost your happiness that you have been delaying?

Share it with us in the comments below! I would love for you to inspire others too :-).

Lots of love,

Danyelle

 

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