Blog - 5 Ways Creativity Improves Your Health

By Matthew Manning: 06 Nov 2015

Before Western civilisation turned art into a commodity, it's purpose was for honouring the spirits of the universe and healing the body and soul. Art moved us beyond our fears of the unknown, allowing us to integrate our life experiences in order to live fully and in harmony with the earth. Today, we are not so different from our ancestors. Stress over our fears disconnects us from our source - the endless well of inspiration that only our imagination can tap. Being creative is something we should all try, and these are five of the best benefits of creating:

  1. It will make you better suited to be innovative. When you practice being creative in a non-stressful, self-expressive way, you'll be more comfortable when you are doing a task that involves serious pressure. When you become more inclined to think out-of-the-box on a side project, you are more likely to generate new ideas in the work environment.
  2. It will reduce your risk of depression and chronic stress development. Creative expression is linked to the healthcare practice. Health is beyond just fighting off disease and ailments. Holistic health - which encompasses the physiological, emotional and social health - is a true assessment of one's health. When you express yourself creatively, you improve your odds of coping with tough life situations. By getting it out on paper, canvas, in an image, through movement or through music, you are coping, so you will be less likely to develop depression or stress-related illnesses which arise from lack of self-expression.
  3. It can improve your self-image and self-awareness. Creative movement has been shown to improve self-image in women going through breast cancer treatment. A study of women undergoing treatment and practicing art as a coping mechanism for their disease found comfort and a positive form of self-expression in dance. Creative dance, as in dance where they moved and told a story through the movement, caused positive effects, including improved coping skills, better attention and appreciation for self and body and an easier transition back into normal life.
  4. It will improve your immune function. Researchers at Teikyo University in Japan wanted to see if listening to classical music would positively affect the immune function and anti-inflammation in mice. After exposing mice to music by Mozart, Enya and random sound frequencies, they saw the Mozart-listening mice had better functioning immune systems than the other two groups.
  5. Ballroom dancing is being shown to delay mental decline in older adults. As we grow older, the inevitable slowing down of our brains is going to happen. Ballroom dancing has been shown to increase mental sharpness in people of all ages. As you lead and follow with a dance partner, you are teaching your brain to pick up on quick changes. This keeps your mind clear and sharp and, in turn, trains it to stay sharp.