Did you know that your health and personal well-being can benefit when you make time to be creative? It’s true! Whether you write, draw, scrapbook, or create quilts, when you engage in something creative, your mind and body benefits.
Here’s some of the latest research and vignettes from people finding their lives are more grounded and rich after dedicating time to their favorite creative pursuit:
Writer Michael Grothaus has been journaling for twelve years and finds it helps him feel better after putting his thoughts to paper. A particular form of writing called Expressive Writing has been found to grant its practitioners a host of long term benefits including, but not limited to:
- Fewer stress-related visits to the doctor
- Improved immune system functioning
- Reduced blood pressure
- Reduced absenteeism from work
- Quicker re-employment after job loss
- Improved working memory
Michael offers eight great tips for how to start or improve your journaling experience. If you’re looking for a new journal, consider our beautiful, handmade, and fairly traded journal in the Literacy Site Store as the home for your next outpouring of thoughts. Each purchase funds free books for children in need.
The Science of Google’s 20% Rule
By now you’ve probably heard of Google’s 20% rule, which allows employees to spend 20% of their time on side projects they are passionate about. What seems on the surface to be a huge sink in productivity actually saw huge boosts for both the company and their employees.
Side projects, it turns out, boosts work performance and productivity.
A study conducted by San Francisco State psychology professor Dr. Kevin Eschleman and his colleagues measured the effect of creative hobbies on over 400 employees. They found those who had a creative hobby were more likely to be helpful and creative on the job as well as more relaxed and in control.
The results indicate that organizations may benefit from encouraging employees to consider creative activities in their efforts to recover from work.
Creative activities are likely to provide valuable experiences of mastery and control, but may also provide employees experiences of discovery that uniquely influence performance-related outcomes.
Check out this article by Hiut Denim Co to discover the three rules of side projects and how to get the most out of your free time.
There’s a whole emerging field of people who employ the arts to help people heal. It’s called Creative Arts Therapies, and according to the National Coalition of Creative Arts Therapies Associations (NCCATA), it encompasses a wide range of modes of expression including art, dance/movement, drama, music, poetry, and psychodrama.
Creative Arts Therapists are human service professionals who use arts modalities and creative processes for the purpose of ameliorating disability and illness and optimizing health and wellness. Treatment outcomes include, for example, improving communication and expression, and increasing physical, emotional, cognitive and/or social functioning.
When you undertake these activities, whether for yourself or with the guidance of a Creative Art Therapist, you stand to benefit by making art.
Click here to see a list of NCCATA member organizations.
In a world full of distractions and stress, it can be difficult to find time to be creative. Check out our article on ways to make time in your schedule for your artistic pursuits.