What’s the best thing about creativity? Not only is it fun and relaxing, but science has always been a big fan of creative activity, arguing that it has active and real benefits to people’s health. Utilizing the left side of your brain can affect your mood, immune system, susceptibility to certain diseases and even strengthen the right side of your brain. Don’t believe me? Let’s take a deeper look into the benefits of engaging in regular creativity.
Improved Cognitive Function
It’s the same story for any part of your body - the more you work it out and exercise that function, the stronger it becomes. The left side and right side of your brain are so closely linked so by neglecting the left side of your brain through irregularly creative action, you’re actually affecting your right side from reaching its optimal potential. Research has found that those who exercise creativity on a regular basis have stronger skills in problem solving, communication and memory. In fact, as you get older, engaging in creativity can actually reverse effects of congitive diseases like Alzheimer’s Disease and Parkinson’s Disease. The whole process of creativity, in which you are able to be free with your thoughts and come up with new ideas, along with the accomplishment of a finished product, also has direct links to better moods, confidence and positive self-talk.
Stronger Immune System
The mind is not the only thing that benefits from creativity. A study discussed by Medical News Today explains how HIV patients who continually wrote about their experiences and what was on their mind had significantly higher counts of CD4+ lymphocytes, which are key to the high functioning of the immune system. Effects on the body and organs may have to do with the process of creativity, the release it immediately inflicts and the hormonal reaction associated. The relationship between creativity and reduced inflammation is also attributed as one of the main reasons creativity can help with an improved immune system.
Reduced Stress, Anxiety and Mood Disorder
Often compared to meditation, creativity can be a deeply relaxing practice that can level-out mind functions and have an overall calming effect on the body. Over and above the idea that creativity, like music, art and dance, generally make people feel good, studies have found that it actually increases the release of dopamine, which is a natural antidepressant. By stepping out of normal brain activities, and opening your mind to something unique everyday, you have the opportunity to release stress and reduce levels of anxiety. Creative activities are actually encourage also encouraged among trauma patients, as it gives them the chance to use imagery and expression to process their thoughts and experiences in a healthy way.
Engaging in regular creative activity has real benefits for your mind and body. So whether you consider yourself as super creative, or not creative at all, it’s important to exercise the left-side of your brain regularly - even in small ways - to ensure optimal health.