Health & Wellness Blog

    

How Creativity Affects Mental Health

While the connection between creativity and mental illness has been documented since 4th Century B.C., today many studies are beginning to show that creativity can actually affect mental health positively. Whether designing custom tank tops or learning how to play the piano, any form of art can bring out a positive psychological change in an individual. Creativity Mental Health

The Arts & Health Foundation has stated that participating in a creative activity can provide a mental boost. How? Check out some of these insights to learn more about how creativity affects mental health.

The Connection Between Creativity & Mental Health

For years, scientists studied the effects of creativity on mental illnesses. Many artists were considered to be suffering from various mental disorders, and a study done at Swedish Institutions like Gothenburg University as well as Uppsaala University found that artists were more at risk for Bipolar Disorder. This study was funded by Swedish Psychiatry Foundation as well as Swedish Medical Research Foundation.

However, today many other research studies conducted across the globe believe quite the opposite. While it may be true that artists, most commonly writers and musicians, are more susceptible to bipolar disorder, creativity is a source for inspiration and an improved sense of well-being for most ordinary people.

Creativity provides a medium for outlet of emotions, and is also a great source of happiness in many people. Yes, mental health can affect creativity and bring out the best in an artist, but its also true that creativity can affect mental health. So whether you're taking guitar or piano lessons, or embark on customizing tank tops as your career, exercising your sense of creativity can promote great things for your brain.

In the book Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-Being written by Martin Seligman (who is considered to be an expert on positive psychology) he explains that psychological well-being is based on 5 elements. These are:

  • Positive emotion
  • Engagement
  • Accomplishment
  • Meaning
  • Positive relationships

Creativity accomplishes all of these, which is why being creative can make a person feel proud about himself and have a deeper connection with his inner-self as well as the community. With an improved sense of self worth comes mental stability and satisfaction, both of which are important for enhanced mental health.

Creativity comes with many benefits for improved mental health, some of which include: safe outlet for emotions and unexpressed feelings, improved concentration and focus, stress relief, confidence boost, enhanced manual dexterity and connecting with other creative members of the society.

Tips to Improve Mental Health with Creative Exercises

Since creativity is good for mental health, here are some tips to incorporate creative exercises in ones day to day life.

Enroll in a creative class

Whether you enjoy art, music, dancing, writing, poetry or some other form of creative activity, join a local class where you can hone on your skills and get to meet like-minded people. Many individuals find pianos and piano lessons to offer outlets for creativity, rhythm, and hand-eye coordination.

Customize or Create Something

Creation is one of the most powerful forms of creativity. From designing your own custom tank top to drawing the blueprints to your next big projects, a great deal of imagination and creatvity goes into the process.

Dedicate Time to Creative Activities

Keep aside a set time for creative activities every week. Create a creative corner in your home and enjoy doing the activities that bring you most happiness. Start with 2-3 hours a week, and increase the time as you begin to see positive changes in your psychological wellbeing.

To boost your creativity, come up with quick exercises and activities. If you are a writer, try to convert a comedy in to a drama. If you are a musician, try to merge the best parts of two or three of your favorite tunes and create a new one. If you are an artist, list two of your favorite art forms and try to do a piece where the best features from both can be highlighted.

Based on your creative interests, keep yourself challenged and engaged by coming up with new ideas.

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Know Importance of Proper Gasoline Recycling and Disposal

Gasoline RecyclingGasoline is a very vital product that is used to run cars, trucks, boats and other machines that have motors like motorized saws and lawnmowers. However, gasoline contains chemical compounds that may pose a threat to humans and the environment.

Gasoline Recycling: A Sound Solution

Gasoline should never be disposed of by pouring it on the ground, into a sewer, a drainage system, stream or any other water body. Such actions are harmful to the environment as they may cause fire explosions and environmental pollution. Improper disposal may also attract fines and heavy penalties.

Gasoline can cause water, land and air pollution if it is not properly disposed or recycled. The product contains very harmful chemicals that may cause illnesses in people and animals if it is ingested by drinking contaminated water. The gases that are released by the product can also cause air pollution. If such polluted air is inhaled it can cause breathing disorders like asthma and emphysema. The gases are responsible for the depletion of the ozone layer which is the cause of global warming.

To keep people and the environment safe from such toxic chemicals it is important to ensure that after use, the product is taken to a place where proper gasoline recycling procedures are followed.

Recycling Gasoline

Unless it is contaminated with other substances, gasoline remains usable under most circumstances. However, as it ages, it tends to lose some of its ability to ignite engines. It may cause sluggish behavior or even temporary failure of an engine. If it is stored for long, it can be contaminated by water, rust particles and even dirt. This makes it gummy or varnished. Such gasoline can only be used after reconditioning.

To recondition gasoline, pour the old gasoline into a different container using a funnel that is lined with a coffee filter or two layers of thin cloth. This helps in removing foreign particles from the product. The filtered gasoline should be mixed with new gasoline in the ratio of 1:5.

In many cases, gasoline recycling can be conducted by professional companies who have the systems in place. Additionally, some specialized centers are created to provide gasoline fuel disposal and recycling services for people to bring by their unwanted fuel.

Fuel Purification: Removing Water from Gasoline

Gasoline fuel purification is also a great solution to ensure gas is properly recycled. One of the most common challenges during this process is removing water from gasoline.

To remove water from gasoline, pour the gasoline into a transparent container. Because the water is heavier, it will settle at the bottom. Carefully pour the gasoline into a different gas can leaving the water in the container. Such water should not be poured down the sink, drain or on the ground. Instead, it should be poured into a box that is lined with plastic and has absorbent material like sand. Once the water dries up the box, plastic and sand should be thrown in a trash can.

There are various local government waste agencies and recycling centers that have the correct tools for recycling gasoline hence ensuring that it is reused or disposed off safely. There are also many local auto stores or hardware stores that have gasoline recycling programs. Here, old gasoline is used to make new products hence protecting the environment from pollution.

Proper recycling and disposal of gasoline is very important as it significantly reduces the depletion of raw materials that are obtained through mining excavations that may be detrimental to the environment. It is also cost effective.

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How Learning to Play the Piano Effects the Brain

Pianos Scientific evidence has proved that learning to play a musical instrument like the piano affects and even makes changes on an individual's brain.

Various research studies have shown that learning the piano (as well as other musical instruments) has an affect on the auditory cortex, a part of the brain that is responsible for the processing of sound.

According to the findings, pianists tend to show more brain activity on this part of the brain. Other studies have also shown that preschoolers with musical training exhibit larger brain responses on various sound recognition tests. Individuals with early childhood piano lessons tend to have enhanced motor and auditory skills. They also exhibit improved verbal ability as well as nonverbal reasoning. Such training enhances a person's acoustic responsiveness.

In musicians, the brain structure that is associated with auditory processing is larger in the left hemisphere and smaller in the right. They also have a thicker nerve-fiber tract between the left and the right hemisphere. This increases the speed of communication between the two hemispheres. Music stimulates both sides of the brain as well as the area that contains the memory and emotions

Piano Lessons and the Affect on Memory

Its been shown that undertaking piano lessons has an impact on a person's memory. A study by Agnes Chan of the University of Hongkong proved that those individuals who had received musical training before the age of 12 had a better memory when it came to the spoken words than those who had never received such training.

Therefore, piano lessons have a long a long-term effect on someone's verbal memory. It affects his/her attention and memory which in turn leads to better learning.

Neural Pathways and Neuroplasticity

A research conducted by Nina Kraus of Northwestern University showed that musical training has some effects on a person's nervous system. The training builds meaningful patterns that are important in learning. Active engagement with musical sounds enhances neuroplasticity, which is the ability of the brain to change and even adapt as a result of training or experience.

Understanding music (especially learning to translate musical symbols into sounds like with piano lessons,) enhances the individual's ability to learn other things which share similar neuro pathways. Early musical training helps in strengthening connections between the neurons in the brain which leads to long-term development in certain parts of the brain.

Researchers probing the inner working of the brain have found neural firing patterns that are resemble musical patterns. This therefore suggests that music holds the key to higher brain functioning

Spatial-Temporal Function

A study in which children were given eight months of piano lessons in Atlanta proved that musical training improved spatial temporal reasoning. Children who take piano lessons tend to score higher in tests on general and spatial cognitive development. Pianos lessons can significantly reduce anxiety, depression and stress.

The best way to strengthen the eye-hand coordination and improve one's motor skills is through playing the piano. The children who take piano lessons learn a lot concerning dedication, discipline and the reward of hard work.

From all there findings, it is quite evident that piano lessons have so many to the brain. Besides benefiting the brain, the joy of making music is quite satisfying to most piano players.

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