Get creative to improve your mental health

Tuesday, 1 October 2019

In our busy and stressful lives, we often forget to set aside time for ourselves to be creative. Creative activity isn’t just a “fun thing to do.” Did you know creativity can have an overwhelmingly positive impact on your mental health?

The theory of cognition suggests that being creative is a basis for human life and it can be detrimental to our mental health and wellbeing if we do not have a creative outlet. Being creative has even been compared to meditation due to its calming effects.

When engaging in something creative you often lose yourself in the project as you get into the ‘flow’ of the activity. Getting into this flow takes your mind off stress, reduces anxiety and slows your heart rate. Activities with a repetitive creative motion like knitting, sewing and colouring can help further to reduce anxiety.

It doesn’t matter what form of creative medium you choose. Whether it is drawing, playing an instrument, woodwork or writing, find what works for you. The process of succeeding in something creative, no matter what the activity is, floods the brain with dopamine. This gives you a feeling of self-accomplishment which is valuable to improve self-appreciation and confidence.

Creativity is also a form of therapy. Art therapy is incredibly helpful for people to manage their emotions productively. It offers an opportunity to connect more deeply with yourself and your emotions. It can help people express trauma and process events that they might find too difficult to talk about.

Humans have been creating art since the beginning of time – why not leave your mark in history and boost your mental health while you’re at it?

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