Why being creative is good for you

Perhaps you recognize that excess sitting on the sofa in front of the TV or phone is really not good for you, and would rather replace that with something else. But you might still be sceptical about the value of creativity. So, why should you become more creative? First, simply because it is good for you, both mentally and physically. Physically it is good for you simply because it makes you stay away from that sofa. Sitting is extremely detrimental to our well-being, and given that most of us sit all day, we really do not need any more sitting in our leisure time!

Mentally, creativity is good for you in various ways. First, when engaging in creative activities we can easily enter the state of flow, where we are fully immersed in the activity in question. If you are familiar with flow, you know it as that state where time flew, you were perfectly concentrated, and you seemed to have been acting as if under a spell, or perhaps guided by an invisible muse. A state of flow is very beneficial to you as it reduces anxiety, slows your heart rate, and lifts up your mood.

Physiologically it achieves these effects by releasing the feel-good neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain. For older people the benefits are even more marked. Dementia is a devastating illness, but creativity has been shown to reduce the risk of getting dementia. Older people often suffer from loneliness, so creative hobbies are the perfect solution for finding people to spend time with. And that holds with people of all ages, since being creative together is a great way of finding friends.

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