If you’ve ever wanted to take singing, dancing, or knitting lessons, you’ve got a perfect reason to start: Creativity reduces stress and keeps you healthy.
Is there something you’ve always wanted to learn, like singing, dancing, or acting? Or perhaps you have a love for horses and want to take riding lessons? Don’t brush it off as a silly extravagance or something you just don’t have the time or money for — giving into your creative desires is not only fun, it’s also good for your emotional health.
Creative Thinking: Why Creativity Is Important
Creativity is important for a number of reasons, including:
- It’s fun and enjoyable. Doing things that you like reduces stress and improves overall well-being.
- It boosts self-confidence. Trying new things can improve self-confidence and make you a more interesting person.
- It stimulates the brain. Creativity sharpens the brain, which can stem the advance of dementia in old age. The more new things you learn, the more use the brain gets — and the sharper it will remain. It’s often recommended that seniors learn new skills and challenge themselves with new opportunities, but this recommendation is appropriate for any age.
Creative Thinking: A Balanced Life
You already know that all work and no play do not make for a healthy life — and can result in a pretty unhappy you. But that also doesn’t mean that all play and no work is good either, and that’s why striking the right balance is so important.
Working and being productive helps keep you sharp, organized, and even happy — as long as it’s well balanced with leisure and creativity. Whether it’s at your daily job, taking care of your children, or cleaning up your home and yard, you feel a great sense of accomplishment after a productive day — and that does a lot for your emotional health. But we all need time to rest and rejuvenate, and do something fun and stimulating. So block off some time each day or each week for a little creativity.
Creative Thinking: Making the Most of Your Time
During your “you” time, do anything that you enjoy or anything that’s new and different to you. Make it something that’s challenging, stimulating, and that you look forward to. Here are some good ways to challenge your brain, learn new skills, and get your creative juices flowing:
- Write in a journal or do some creative writing
- Tackle a crossword puzzle
- Take a knitting, crochet, or cross-stitch class
- Take up gardening
- Visit the theater
- Take a painting or sculpture class
- Take a dance class
- Learn yoga or tai chi
- Listen to lectures
- Take a cooking class
- Learn to sing or play a musical instrument
- Learn to speak a new language
- Go back to school and take some academic or other classes of interest to you
Most importantly, whatever you decide to do, make it fun. Sure, it’s one more thing to add to your busy schedule, but taking time for creativity is one of the best investments you can make for your body and spirit.