As we get older, we can find that our brain gradually starts to take that slippery slope downwards. But the fact is that while it may be more difficult for us to kick our brain into shape as we age, there are practices that we can all benefit from, but it’s just about having the right practices. If you have found that you settling and you’re just not as sharp as you were, this is where being creative can make a big difference. So with this in mind, what does being creative actually do for your brain?
1. It Sharpens Your Mind
Firstly, being creative is an amazing outlet for your cognitive function. Being creative forces you to think outside of the box and creates new and exciting ways of doing work. But it’s not just about the stimulation your brain is getting; it’s also going to do a lot for many components of your brain. An art like photography is a very good example because it forces you to think about photo composition, as well as look at the more equipment-oriented side of things, contort your body, and think laterally to get a great shot.
Painting and drawing can stimulate something like hand-eye coordination, control the right side of your brain, and improve your motor skills. There are other things that you can do, such as dancing and playing a musical instrument to enhance cognitive function on the left side. And when you think about something like photography, this naturally combines the two.
2. Creativity Improves Your Mood
When you finish a creative task, like writing in a journal, knitting a scarf, or drawing a cute dog, your brain is filled with dopamine – an all-natural anti-depressant that motivates you and makes you feel good. Even something as simple as singing in the car is bound to make you smile more.
3. Creativity Boosts Your Self-Esteem
It feels pretty good to be creative. There’s nothing better than that moment of personal satisfaction when you’re finished – not to mention the sense of achievement you get from creating something out of nothing. Researchers found that just 45 minutes of free art-making was enough to improve a person’s confidence. The group reported an increase in self-confidence, which is pretty impressive considering the short timeframe. If you keep on creating over a longer period of time, you’re probably going to get better at it. And as you start to notice your progress, you’re bound to notice a confidence boost, too.
But it’s also important to remember that testing your brain through creative practice is just as beneficial. People who are creative tend to be ambidextrous, so you can also begin to test your brain in numerous ways. Trying different games, such as Use Your Non-Dominant Hand for a day or just testing your memory can have a big impact on your ability to concentrate, which can also pull you out of that detrimental frame of mind.
4. Relieves Anxiety and Stress
Stress and anxiety are so commonplace in the modern world, which is why creativity can be an amazing tool. Creativity proves beneficial because you can become so embroiled with something you lose track of time. That perception of time is so important to our sense of self because if you find yourself getting bored constantly, you may feel that time drags more slowly.
5. Creativity Improves Cognitive Function
Parents often encourage creativity because it’s good for a child’s brain development. That’s because when we’re creative, we use parts of the brain that aren’t usually in action for everyday tasks. Studies show that musicians have better brain connectivity compared to those who haven’t grown up playing instruments. While the more analytical left hemisphere focuses on motor functions, the more subjective right hemisphere is all about the melody. Music as a creative activity is unique in that it stimulates both sides of the brain, contributing to improved cognitive function over time.
An A to Z of Creative Activities
Convinced Yet? Then Let’s Get Creative! There are literally hundreds of ways you can express yourself, but here are just some of them
- Art, animation, and acting
- Baking, beatboxing, and body painting
- Carpentry, calligraphy, and comedy
- Dancing and DJing
- Flower arranging and fashion design
- Gardening and graffiti art
- Illustration and interior design
- Jewelry making and jazz
- Knitting and kite-making
- Landscape design
- Music, magic, and mime
- Photography, poetry, and pottery
- Quilt making
- Singing, storytelling, and scrapbooking
- Theatre and tapestry
- Writing and woodwork
- Xylopyrography (making a picture or design on wood using a hot iron or another heated instrument)
- Yoga and yodeling
- Zithering (a musical instrument consisting of a flat wooden sound box with numerous strings stretched across it)
Whether you consider yourself creative or not, there’s a bit of it in all of us. With everything you could possibly want to know with technology right in the palm of your hand, it’s easy to sit back, consume information and feed off the instant gratification.
But there’s a lot of power in creating more and consuming less. And the best part? You don’t have to be a kid or a creative type to benefit from it!
Article Credit: https://brainworldmagazine.com/kicking-your-brain-into-shape-the-amazing-benefits-of-creativity-on-our-cranium/ https://brightwatergroup.com/news-articles/5-big-benefits-of-creative-expression/