Whether we are aware of it or not, all humans have the ability to be creative. Research tells us that creativity is a combination of genetics and experience, but more so the latter. So, what does this mean? Creativity can be both inherent and learned. Essentially, the more you practice being creative, the more creative you will become!
Creativity is often considered "in the eye of the beholder," or subjective, so it can be hard to define what creativity actually is. However, scientists have agreed on a few key components around the subject. Keep reading to dive into the field of creativity and why tapping into your own creativity can actually improve your health and confidence.
Although there is now clear definition on the subject, a study by the American Psychological Association share two primary components of creativity that are widely agreed upon:
1. Originality: The idea should be something new that is not simply an extension of something else that already exists.
2. Functionality: The idea needs to actually work or possess some degree of usefulness.
Other key factors of creativity can include pleasure, value, process, progress, and imagination.
What Happens In Your Brain
Since the topic of creativity is so complex, we can't assume that it can be localized to a single region in the brain. Surprisingly, scientists previously thought that creativity was processed only in the right hemisphere (side) of the brain. The right side controls attention, memory, reasoning, and problem solving. However, recent studies found activity in the the frontal cortex can be associated with creativity.
To think creativity, we rely on a few processes in the brain including:
Working memory - A memory system in the brain with a limited capacity that is responsible for the short-term holding, processing, and manipulation of information.
Abstraction planning - A thought process that is characterized by adaptability and flexibility. Abstraction involves considering things that may not have concrete things, or specific objects. Example of an abstract concept is, “freedom” and “law.”
- Cognitive flexibility - Allows you to either easily switch between thinking about two different concepts or to think about multiple concepts at the same time.
5 Ways Being Creativity Improves Your Health & Confidence
Tapping into your creativity is not only fun and enjoyable, but it can improve your physical health, well-being, and confidence. Here's how:
⚡ Increases joy & happiness
When we perform a creative task such as writing, sewing, cooking, drawing, or dancing, there is ultimately an end result or a closing point. This action of finishing something signals to the brain that you completed something successfully. That completion releases the feel-good hormone dopamine which aids in feeling joyful, happy, and a sense of accomplishment.
⚡ Boosts your immunity
Studies have shown that creative activities can improve your immune system. For example, a daily journalling exercise leads to stronger immune function. Even though experts are not entirely sure how it works, writing increases your CD4+ lymphocyte count, which is crucial for your immune system. Additionally, the simple act of listening to music can also replenish your immunity.
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⚡Opens up your heart & mind
When we're able to get into a creative zone, we naturally open ourselves up to new ways of solving problems, thinking, and brainstorming. We're able to see challenges from different perspectives, thus opening our minds to new possibilities. Creativity also fuels your compassion and the way you can relate to your surroundings.
⚡Lowers stress and anxiety
Think about a time when you were working on a creative project and you felt totally "in the zone." You were focused and had the energy to keep going. This is what is called flow. A state of being that can reduce anxiety and improve your mood. Flow even has the ability to lower your heart rate, calming your nervous system.
⚡Improves cognitive function (aka brain power)
Picking up and playing an instrument can make you smarter! How? Studies show that people who play instruments have better connectivity between their left and right brains (the two regions of this crucial organ). The left brain is responsible for motor functions, and the right brain focuses on melody. When we engage in activities that allow our brain's two hemispheres to communicate with each other, our overall cognitive function improves.
Wrapping Up Creativity
To find your creativity, try something new, push yourself out of your comfort zone, and surround yourself with people that have difference perspectives. Also, keep an eye out for our next blog post all about ways you can find your creativity.