Are you the sorts who plays music in the car and lets your gaze melt into oblivion? Do you look forward to the end of a tiring day or a busy week so that you can try your hand at the amazing recipe you found online? Do you like to doodle, sketch or paint and it takes you back in time when you would have done that for hours? Are you the kinds who still enjoys a good handwritten note, a to-do list, or journaling with your favorite pen and paper?
By now you might have got the drift of where I am veering towards. I am writing this blog as my 13-year-old is playing some soulful music on the piano. At the end of a high energy school day, playing the piano de-stresses her, calms her down and keeps her healthy not just physically but mentally too!
Every adult and now child these days complain of poor sleep, high impact stress, and compromised fitness. It’s mostly due to an imbalance of key hormones which rise out of deficiencies either in sleep, nutrition, movement or all of them. The key players here are cortisol, dopamine, and serotonin. If your cortisol levels are high then every aspect and function of your body is impacted. What brings it down? Out of the many things you can do to reduce stress levels is to do something that creatively relaxes you, rejuvenates you and inspires you. It can be listening to music, playing an instrument, dancing, writing, drawing, cooking, gardening, doodling or photography. The list is endless.
Apart from all the wonderful physical benefits of letting your creative juices flow; results in increased dopamine and serotonin levels, you get exemplary mental health benefits too. Creativity helps alleviate depression, worry, anxiety, and other stress-related disorders. Research also states that the reverse is equally true. The healthier you are, the more creative you can be.
Creativity also helps in the reduction of cognitive impairment. It keeps pushing the brain to learn more and to develop areas that keep you active and alert well into your old age. It also boosts your immune system, keeping you disease-free. It increases mindfulness which increases brain density. As dopamine and serotonin get a boost, it improves your sleep and urges your body and mind to squeeze more out of your day and productivity. You can rest more and digest more. Your parasympathetic nervous system gets its due.
It’s a win-win situation, after all, if you get to do something which you enjoy, also keeps you healthy, helps you keep your mind off of all the stressors instead of pushing you to pop pills with a multitude of side effects.
What are some simple steps you can take to keep your creative quotient high?
- Start with morning pages/journaling/priming/meditation
- Schedule key meetings in the first half of the day
- Eat a protein-rich breakfast
- Walk before or during meetings
- Manage workplace stress
- Carve out time periodically to pursue one creative activity which shifts your mood timeline
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