From de-stressing to solving problems and preventing illness, being creative has many benefits.

In a 2010 study, published in the American Journal of Public Health, revealed the profound impact that art has on your ability to heal yourself.

Here’s a rundown on some of the most important benefits of creativity.

Art for Health’s Sake

Whether you’re making pottery, knitting sweaters, creating a new dish, of using mandala coloring pages, acts of creativity are good for your physical and mental health. Here is just a sampling of the many ways being creative benefits your health.

  • improving well-being and positive emotions
  • preventing thoughts of illness
  • reducing the tendency towards depression
  • reducing stress and anxiety
  • improving medical outcomes
  • reducing negative emotions
  • promoting grief recovery
  • improving confidence and self-esteem
  • boosting focus and creativity

You don’t have to wait until you’re not feeling well to start enjoying the benefits of engaging in a creative act, you can start right now. It will help to reduce your risk of many illnesses.

Artful Ways to Beat Stress

You don’t have to be an artist to enjoy artful ways of de-stressing. Here are some ideas to boost your creativity and reduce your stress.

  • Layer some art: Make a collage with pictures from old magazines and some paint.
  • Make art in disguise: Draw a picture in the dark, so you won’t judge yourself during the process.
  • Put the inner you on paper: Paint a watercolor of your mood.
  • Let loose your imagination: fill a page with doodles.
  • Scribe yourself: Write a poem by picking random words from a book.
  • Create a gift of thanks: Make thank you cards for those who mean most to you.
  • Give your creativity form: Make some playdough and have fun sculpting.
  • String some meditation beads.

Creative Ways to Kick Problems

Sometimes it seems that the more you try to mull over a problem, the trickier it becomes to solve. If you find yourself with this kind of block, here are some creative things you can try to overcome it.

Get a change of scene:

Take a walk, go to your local coffee shop or visit somewhere you’ve never been to before.

Feast your eyes:

Go to see a movie you wouldn’t normally watch and think about how you would have handled the themes differently.

Visit a friend:

Have a discussion about what you are mulling over. It often helps to get someone else’s perspective to expand your own.

Pretend it’s not important:

Mentally disassociating yourself from the problem often help you come up with a solution.

Sketch it out:

Draw a picture of the dilemma, including timelines, people involved and the situation itself.

Take a field trip:

Visit your local museum, art gallery or botanical gardens, somewhere you can be inspired by the creativity of others.

To get the full benefit of being creative, you should create more than you consume. So turn off the TV and do something more creative instead!

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