According to a recent article in Forbes, studies show that “tapping into your creative energy” can actually improve mental health, increase happiness, reduce depression, boost your immune system, and (no joke) make you smarter. That’s because creativity – whether it’s art, fashion, gardening, doodling, writing, baking, you name it – floods the brain with a surge of feel-good dopamine, a natural antidepressant. Here, several concrete bennies of engaging in creative pursuits…and some ideas to get you thinking.
When you’re “in the moment,” you shut out the noise of life
Getting lost in something like music or dance doesn’t just increase artistic expression; it gives you a breather from the more cerebral, uninspired activities of life, because it becomes an all-encompassing focus for a few blissful moments.
When you express yourself creatively, you connect with your feelings
Example: Changing your hair color
Following convention – especially when it comes to personal style – puts you out of touch with elements that feed your soul, like color and texture. Ask any hairdresser about the true joi of seeing a smiling client who went from brunette to blonde, or took the leap of trying a whimsical fashion shade – if only temporarily (thank you, Color Intensity Color Butters!).
When you challenge yourself to be creative, you put yourself on a path to learning… Example: Cooking
For some, whipping up a delicious meal is 100% pure enjoyment (and great IG content, let’s be honest) – a pastime that taps into the creative brain, right down to picking herbs, plating exquisite appies, creating a tablescape, and cocktails. For others, though, it’s a mammoth challenge that’s way out of the wheelhouse. Deciding to jump in and give scary a try not only exposes you to new challenges, but allows a path to mastery and originality at every level: “Ooh, I just learned to frost a cake on YouTube…I think I’ll try adding chocolate shavings next time…”
When you focus on a repetitive, imaginative project, you become calm
There’s a reason for the explosion of “stress-relief” craft kits these days. Seemingly mindless-yet-creative tasks (be it coloring in a book, gluing 1,000 rhinestones on a lamp, or dot journaling) levels out your emotional playing field, and focuses the mind away from the 60,000 thoughts that science says we have each day.