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