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Strengthening the immune system has become one of the most common goals for most of us during the pandemic. We all know certain ways to boost our immunity, be it by choosing the right food, improving lifestyle, using natural immunity aids, supplements, getting enough sleep, exercising, and staying hydrated, etc. But we haven’t really emphasized boosting immunity through creativity.
Scientists are continuing their efforts to uncover evidence about engaging in creative activities that can be beneficial for one’s mental health and well-being. In 2015, multiple studies confirmed that being creative can increase positive emotions, reduce stress, decrease anxiety and depressive symptoms, and even improve immune system functioning.
Another study in 2016, published in The Journal of Positive Psychology, concluded that spending time on creative goals during the day can be associated with a higher activated positive effect. These positive effects can make a person experience moods like joy, happiness, optimism, pride, gratitude, hope, amusement, serenity, interest, cheerfulness, blissfulness, etc. Eventually, this can help to lower stress and instll optimism.
The forms of creativity can be modified with age. When we are children, we scribble, colour, make different shapes through clay, dress up dolls, prepare drums, etc. When we are in our teens, we participate in plays, bands, take up photography, learn music, dance, etc. When we grow older, sometimes creativity decreases and we focus more on our educational and vocational tasks. Thereafter come challenges of supporting family, partner and life becomes monotonous with repetitions.
We can still nurture the creative side inside us by pursuing creativity as a hobby or profession. Let us look at some of the benefits that creativity – from writing, colouring, dancing, sketching, etc. can bring us in the form of overall improved brain functioning, mental health and physical health.
Many of the studies on creativity and health suggest that creativity routines can surely provide many improved health benefits as given below:
1. Adding creativity to everyday routines can reduce your body’s response to stress and anxiety. Engaging in a creative routine can become a regular practice to elevate your mood, if you are having a bad time. Doing something that you enjoy can prove to be fulfilling and uplifting.
2. Creativity enhances the health of your immune system. There are many studies that prove that your creative side can have positive effects on the immune system. A particular study shows that music can help to restore the immune system, and decrease the body’s response to inflammation. Another research shows that participants suffering from immune-compromised HIV, when engaged in emotional writing had increased levels of lymphocytes.
3. Creativity routines can boost brain functioning by creating a positive impact on cognitive health. When someone intensively focuses on a creative activity, it helps in problem-solving, critical thinking, and decision-making. Research has also shown that continuing long-term creative practice helps to build a reserve supply of cognitive functioning, which may help to delay future neurodegeneration.
4. Creativity also helps to boost wellness. It brings more enthusiasm and excitement to daily life experiences.
It’s an individual’s choice to get stuck with their daily hustle and drop their creative passion getting caught up between family, work, and other commitments, Or practice creativity as a vital habit to boost overall health just like going to the gym or doing a diet. Just remaining engaged in daily creative routines can help reduce stress and depression, delay cognitive impairment, and may even aid in fighting some health conditions.