Wellbeing Week: the positive benefits of creativity

It’s Wellbeing Week here at iQ and this year, our wellbeing initiative Embrace Explore Do is aimed at encouraging residents to Embrace mindfulness and learning new skills, Explore getting creative and active and Do good to feel good.

Now, when we think of the things that are good for our health, we automatically think of exercise and diet. But there are a number of benefits that can be achieved when tapping into more creative hobbies too. Whether it's doodling or gardening, keep reading to find out why exploring your creative side may be a healthy habit to keep.

 

1. Get in the flow to feel calm  

Creative hobbies can be a great opportunity to not just express yourself but find a little relaxation at the same time. Have you ever been so immersed in a fun project that you have completely lost all sense of time? This state of immersion is typically referred to as ‘flow’ and is often achieved during creative activities. When your mind goes into a flow state, studies have proven that this can help to reduce anxiety, boost your mood and even slow down the heart rate.  

Hobbies to try to get into that immersive ‘flow’ state 

There is a reason the adult colouring-in craze came about. Creativity relieves stress! Try your hand at colouring, drawing, listening to music, maybe even a bit of windowsill gardening?

Why not tune into Sue’s mini-Terrarium Masterclass on Friday? The perfect gardening class to get immersed into on YouTube.

 

2. Create, complete, happiness, repeat  

If you’re having a particularly stressful day, then picking up a creative hobby that has repetitive motions, like knitting or DIY crafts, has been shown to improve your mood. When a repetitive motion like knitting ends in a result (maybe a new pair of mittens!), experts say this gives your mind a boost of dopamine. Dopamine is the feel-good chemical that helps to motivate us and essentially, giving us a hit of happy. 

Hobbies to try

Embroidery, DIY crafts, painting, woodwork, modelling. Want to explore embroidery? Why not check out @LavyStitch embroidery class on our IGTV here.

 

3. Expressing yourself 

As well as giving you a mood boost, research has found that creative activities, particularly writing and drawing, can help people express emotions in positive and productive ways – which is vital for mental health. 

If you are struggling with negative feelings or difficult experiences, sometimes expressing yourself with words may not be the easiest option. Instead, experts suggest vocalising yourself through creativity. Journaling and drawing can help to put these emotions on paper and works well for describing your dreams and goals. 

 

4. Enjoy the process  

Finally, try to remember that it’s ok not to be perfectExploring your creativity and embracing something new is about getting involved in process, not necessarily the end goal.  

We hope that Wellbeing Week has reminded you of all the benefits embracing a little creativity has to offer. 

 

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