I’ve long believed that creativity reduces stress. Turns out that I’m not the only one. Researchers have long been studying the connection between health and personality traits. Openness—which links to creativity and measures flexibility and willingness to entertain novel ideas—has emerged as a life-long protective factor. It seems that creativity reduces stress and keeps the brain healthy.
Of the personality traits, only creativity decreased mortality risk. One possible reason creativity is a protective of health is because it draws on a variety of neural networks within the brain.
Because the brain is the command center for all bodily functions, exercising it helps all systems to continue running smoothly. Keeping the brain healthy may be one of the most important aspects of aging successfully.
Why Creativity Reduces Stress
Remember that whether a situation causes stress depends on your outlook and how you respond to the event. Creative people tend not to get as easily flustered when faced with an emotional or physical hurdle. Stress is known to harm overall health, including cardiovascular, immune and cognitive systems. Creative people may see stressors more as challenges that they can work to overcome, rather than as stressful obstacles they can’t overcome.
Practicing creative thinking techniques can improve anyone’s health by lowering stress and exercising the brain. Practicing the habits of POSITIVITY, CHOICE, and REFLECTION also assist in this endeavor.
What do you do to foster creativity in your life? Do you paint, write, sing, play a musical instrument, or something else? How have your creative pursuits helped keep your stress levels low? Feel free to discuss this topic on the Without Stress Facebook page.
If you’re looking for stress management advice, check out the book Live Without Stress: How to Enjoy the Journey. It’s available as a print book and as a Kindle download.