Creativity is something I’ve leaned on heavily over the past few years to deal with my own life challenges. It took me some time to realize that my creative outlets were a huge part of my healing, happiness, and balance during difficult times. This realization made me want to dig a little deeper.
Were there others experiencing the same benefits? Is there actual science behind this theory of mine that creativity can have positive effects on the mind and body? I was excited to find that the answer is, YES! I’ve pulled together a few studies and examples of how engaging in creativity regularly can help to support your overall health and happiness.
Creativity Can Improve Work-Life Balance
You might be thinking, how can adding another thing to my to-do list improve my work-life balance? I was recently inspired by a story about David Solomon, the new CEO of Goldman Sachs – also known as DJ D-Sol after hours.
David makes $15M a year from his high powered job at Goldman. He has also been DJ-ing on the side for years. This is a man that makes more money annually than most people will have in a lifetime and he works two jobs. It’s obviously not because he needs more money. In fact, he donates his music-making revenue to charity.
The question is why would someone work two jobs when they’ve achieved this much success?
“David’s always believed that having a wide range of outside interests leads to a balanced life and makes for a better career”
I couldn’t love this answer more! Most people don’t find their day-to-day jobs to fulfill all of their interests, or to fulfill them at all. For some, it’s often a means of getting a steady paycheck. The monotony of doing the same tasks every day for 5 days can be unmotivating. That’s where a creative outlet can help.
I regularly use my free time to indulge in creative interests like writing. As a result, I feel more balanced and fulfilled both at work and at home. By supporting our balance, we are also supporting our overall happiness.
Creativity Reduces The Stress Response
Creativity can also have positive effects on our mental and physical health. Studies have shown that engaging in creativity and making art can reduce cortisol levels and stress responses.
Like taking a yoga class, making art has the ability to take our mind off the stressor and focus our attention on what we are creating. Something as simple as an adult coloring book might reduce your feelings of stress.
Immune System Benefits
Creativity is so powerful, it can actually provide some immune support. A randomized study conducted on people undergoing HIV treatment showed that expressive writing helped to boost participants’ immune systems by increasing their lymphocyte counts compared to the writing control group (non-expressive).
Other studies have shown that expressive writing might help to deal with emotions and process trauma. All of those benefits from taking pen to paper and expressing ourselves.
I’ve experienced the benefits of expressive writing first hand when I was battling Lyme disease. During this unpleasant time, I felt the urge to write. I quickly joined WordPress and started blogging about my health challenges.
It didn’t matter if my writing was any good, it just felt good to get my thoughts out there. I was amazed by how therapeutic the writing process was, and by how much better I felt every time I posted something. I’ve continued writing ever since.
Lastly, creativity can also reduce chronic pain!
Overall, creativity has numerous benefits to both our health and happiness. It can balance out the monotony of our day-to-day responsibilities, lower our stress levels, help us process life’s challenges, and even improve our immune systems.
There was never a better time to purchase an adult coloring book or head over to a Sip and Paint studio. It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or experienced in the craft of your choosing. It’s about the experience – not the end result.
Do you have a favorite creative outlet to share? Leave a comment below. 🙂