4 Ideas For Tapping Into Your Creativity & Boosting Your Health

In the past 5-6 years there have been many books on the best sellers list tackling the topic of creativity and how good it is for us to tap into our own innate ability to sing, write, dance or paint, not to mention a bunch of other things.  Titles like Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, have sold by the boat load, but are people really applying what they have read about, and why should they?  What’s the upside?  Inevitably as we always do with such things, we must look to scientific research and its findings for the details….Not going into this too deeply, here are four ways creative activities can boost your health and why:

1. Write Away Your Woes

Writing about difficult or emotional events has been found to result in positive changes to physical and mental health, in non-clinical and clinical studies.  Those engaging in expressive writing are asked to develop this text for 15–20 minutes on 3–5 occasions.  People who do so have consistently shown more desirable physical and psychological outcomes compared with those who write about other more neutral topics.  This finding was upheld in a meta analysis of over 400 individual studies in 2006 by Joanne Frattaroli.

2. Paint Over Anxiety

Whether you’re creating it or just enjoying looking at it, visual art has a big impact on the human brain. Neuroscience tells us that when we looking at art, the parts of the brain involved in processing emotion and those that kickstart our pleasure and reward systems are all being engaged.  The Influence of Art Making on Anxiety: A Pilot Study has also revealed the psychological effects of creating art. It can significantly reduce a person’s state of anxiety and has led to conversations about the use of art therapy to help students deal with stress.

3. Singing for Health & Happiness

Singing is known to help performers breathe deeply and also correct posture. But a 2016 study involving the Royal College of Music in London suggested that it may boost immune system activity as well.  The study tested nearly 200 members of different choirs who were affected by cancer – either caregivers or diagnosed with the disease – by collecting samples of their saliva before and after an hour of singing. Results showed a significant reduction in stress hormones and an increase in proteins, like Cytokine, which help the body fight illness.  This is amazing news and another reason to crack up your favourite tunes on your journey into work, maybe not if you take the train though!

4. Dance Your Way To A Fitter Mind

Most peoples visit to the Gym involves them following a very structured work out plan designed to achieve certain objective(s); further more the individual exercises often taking place on specialised  equipment do not allow much scope to go off-piste!  Dancing on the other hand is completely different, it provides freedom in terms of movement and speed, it is also inexpensive or free, and can be enjoyed alone or in a social setting.  Dance like other activities such as yoga and swimming involves moving every part of your body, and can do wonders by improving muscle tone, cardiovascular health, balance, coordination and a whole lot more. A large scale 2003 study which analyzed a variety of leisure activities suggested that dancing was “the only physical activity associated with a lower risk of dementia”.


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