Can Creativity Keep You Healthy?

I recently read this article, which discusses research that has been done on the connection between health and personality. The research that is specifically discussed in this article found that creativity decreased mortality risk. According to the article, “creative thinking reduces stress and keeps the brain healthy”.

What comes to mind when you consider the word “creativity”? For years, I used to say, “Oh, I’m not a creative person”. I’d score low on the “creativity” areas on every workplace personality profile that I completed. I was much more a “black or white” personality, wishing for specific instructions about how to do every task I was given. Over time, however, as I’ve allowed my definition of “creativity” to expand, I have started to wonder if that was really a true assessment. Or had my perception of what creativity was and whether or not I owned that quality somehow tainted my scores?

These days I find myself allowing more time to actually think. Do you allow yourself this time? It seems like such a simple thing to do. But how often do you give yourself the space and time in the day to think creatively about anything? If you are like most people, chances are you’re scarcely thinking of anything other than your next “to-do” item. What I have found is that when I give myself an opportunity to start the day with a morning routine and give myself to permission at different points throughout the day to just *be*, I’m subsequently amazed by the ideas I can produce. These ideas may come out of nowhere, or they may be in response to a problem I’m having, or they may manifest themselves in a specifically creative endeavor (art or music or dance or writing, for instance). Regardless of how or why they appear, I’ve been amazed at how my formerly so-called “not creative” self has come up with some pretty cool things!

I’d challenge you to do the same. Whether you feel that you are a creative thinker or not, I’ll bet just about anything that if you give yourself the opportunity, your creativity will blossom. Need more motivation to try it? According to Nicholas Turiano, study author, “‘Creative people may see stressors more as challenges that they can work to overcome rather than as stressful obstacles they can’t overcome”. Who wouldn’t be happy with a more positive outlook when it comes to stresses?

And remember – – the power of positive thinking can make all the difference. Even if you don’t believe it just yet, tell yourself that you *are* a creative thinker. Even if you feel silly thinking it, just give it a try. You’d be surprised what you can accomplish when you choose to believe in yourself.

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