3 Ways Creativity Impacts Your Emotional Health
The wellness community doesn’t discuss emotional health enough, and in the digital era, they should be. You most likely have heard of E.Q or emotional intelligence, which is similar to I.Q. Emotional health relates to our emotions and how we do or don’t process or try to understand them. Within the last five years alone, countless studies have shown the benefits of creativity and its effect on our emotions and mental health.
You might be thinking, “I’m so not creative!” Don’t be too shocked, but you’re more creative than you know.
If you do puzzles, plan events, design graphics or work on the computer, cook, color in coloring books or doodle, take photos, then you can consider yourself a creative individual, regardless if those are hobbies or not. I knew someone who was in I.T. and didn’t think had a creative bone in their body until they started painting. This individual’s stress levels rapidly decreased and began to cope with it much better after spending the time available or left in the day to paint.
Many people underestimate the powerful benefits creativity can offer your emotional wellbeing. Still, it baffles me how when I was at my lowest of low a few years ago and started doing art, I felt a thousand times better very quickly. Every human being, no matter your circumstances, has gone through tough times. It doesn’t matter who you are, chances are, you’ve also been at your lowest of low on one occasion or another. It’s not uncommon or unusual, even seemingly happy-go-lucky people have gone through these dips.
With the holidays just around the corner, you’re bound to feel a little blue. If you’ve been going through a lot of life changes and challenging transitions, you’re not alone, and things are always changing. At times, we need to slow down and do something for ourselves. It’s crucial to find a break in your day or evening hours to do an activity which directly affects your emotional health.
I’ve noticed, in my personal experience, the way in which doing art helps me overcome things much faster and change my mindset. That’s precisely what working with your hands does; the action transforms how you’re thinking and feeling. I’ve experienced and witnessed these transformations, and what I’ve listed below will wow you and hopefully get you excited about doing something creative.
- Creating anything can help you process and essentially treat depression. An interesting study done in The Journal of Positive Psychology had a select number of young adults engaging in creative activities who experienced positive emotions that day — happiness, joy and hope. Other studies suggest the empowering impacts doing something creative has in the long-term on your overall mental health.
- If you struggle with stress management, creating something will ease those symptoms. Long ago, I used to do art to reduce my stress when socializing or trying to keep up with others got difficult. Even during difficult moments, if something was bothering me, I’d pull out a pencil and paper and almost immediately forget about those hard thoughts or feelings. These days, since art has become habitual and my career, I’ve noticed an enhancement in my ability to manage stress in general.
- Working with your hands intervenes in negative, depressive or troubling thoughts. It quiets the mind and is the best remedy for those times when you’re feeling bothered or need to blow off steam. Creating anything releases dopamine in the brain, which is considered a natural anti-depressant. These actions of creativity boosts your mood and promotes healing.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a creative person or not. If you find yourself working with your hands or doing something that requires focus and a detail oriented eye, then you can consider yourself creative. With the holidays coming up, you’re bound to find yourself getting stressed or feeling blue. In your down time, try doing a puzzle or coloring in those adult coloring books (I use them, and they are so fun and relaxing!) These are low-key activities you can do after putting noisy kids to sleep at night.
Creativity is the best method for quieting a busy mind. Since I have anxiety, I’ve used my art making abilities as a tool for combating these uneasy thoughts. Sometimes, I’ll find myself overly bothered about a past situation that might’ve caused embarrassment or uncomfortable emotions. The moment I feel that, I get my art supplies out, and in ten minutes or less, I’m so immersed in creating that I’m not caring about anything or anyone else. Try to incorporate creativity into your daily routine, if and when time allows, and pay extra attention to how this affects and transforms your emotional health. I guarantee, you will notice a difference.