Tuesday, February 20, 2018

How Creativity and Hobbies Make a Healthier You

"Health" trends and crazes today seem to focus on things like clean eating, keto, and paleo, or kettlebells, marathons, and spin class.  Health goes beyond the physical, however, and it's easy to overlook the health and wellness of the heart and soul.  Today we'll look at two ways to improve your health--hobbies and creativity--and a great way to incorporate both in a meaningful, lasting way.


CREATIVITY
You've probably been hit with a sickness during a stressful time.  According to {Dr. Chris Gilbert}, this is--as you may have already guessed--no coincidence.  She says a full 80% of visits to a primary care physician can be traced to emotional issues.  Aside from stress, this is due in large part to keeping emotions contained instead of expressing them or cognitively working through them (which, by the way, I'm the queen of).

Dr. Gilbert takes emotional expression even further!  She says, "When internal emotions are externalized as art, ... inner conflicts that suppressed these emotions are lessened, and physiological stress responses —such as chronic over-secretion of cortisol and adrenaline — are greatly reduced.” 

Think about that!  Creativity contributes to health and well-being in very real ways.  You can find a great list of ways to creatively express your emotions at BayArt's lovely article, {"How Creativity Can Help You Be Healthier."}


HOBBIES
My friend Lori at Choosing Wisdom wrote recently about why {picking up new hobbies} is so good for you.  She explained that there are two kinds of stress:  bad stress (we all know what that is) and good stress called eustress which is the rush of excitement and joy when we're engaged in something new.  As Lori says, "Hobbies provide a break with a purpose.  ...When we get complacent in our routines, we are neglecting to challenge our brains."  She refers to research on the mental benefits of having hobbies, including lower depression, and the physical benefits, including lower blood pressure and cortisol.  So hobbies help with the bad stress, and with the good stress, too!


TWO-FOR-ONE:  A CREATIVE HOBBY
Many people have the mistaken belief that they are not creative.  In reality, though, {trying something new stimulates the brain}, so creativity is increased!  And literally, by definition, if you create something, you are creative.  If you have an idea, create a plan, make a cake, build a fence, take a photo, you are creating something.  As {Dina Tibbs} said, "As humans, we are, by our very nature, creative.  Our entire lives are nothing but creations."

Let me encourage you to start a creative hobby that will contribute to your physical health and the health of your heart and soul WHILE AT THE SAME TIME providing {lasting benefits to your loved ones}, such as an increased ability to cope, a decrease in stress and depression, and a greater sense of gratitude, purpose, and belonging.  Start memory-keeping.  Start preserving your photos and the stories that go with them in a tactile way--a book or page that can be seen, held, and loved.

Preserving photos in print and writing down your memories and experiences is cathartic and grounding, but it also gives you the benefits of creativity (creating something) and a hobby that I just mentioned.  In addition, recording your own stories and the stories of your family has been {shown to influence children in profound ways}.


The best way I know to preserve photos and memories and stories is in digital storybooks and scrap pages by Heritage Makers.  There are lots of available templates (which are still completely editable--nothing is locked in place).  To me, creating a quality product is the most important thing, followed closely by the Heirloom Assurance guarantee (if anything happens to my books/scrap pages, I can get a replacement copy at half price).  You can get started at the {"How to Get Started"} tab at the top of this page in red.

Physical health is important, but don't forget how much your heart and soul contribute to your physical well-being, too.  Start your new creative hobby, memory-keeping, today, and find out just how good for you it is!

#dontletyourbabiesgrowuptobejpegs

16 comments:

  1. This is so true, one thing that's definitely improved my mental health is keeping my bullet journal. Even today just doodling a little header in it made me feel so chilled out! Love this! #wanderingwednesday

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    1. Thanks for reading! Yes, I think any moments we can take for creative habits--like the bullet journaling you mentioned--really serve us well.

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  2. I’ve always been a firm believer of hobbies and the creative outlet they provide for our health! Digital scrapbooking is an awesome out let!! Thanks for the shout out, BTW!

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    1. Absolutely. I loved what you said in your article about hobbies. I think we sometimes look at them as something you do if you have bonus time, but not something important to our well-being. I love the research you quoted. :) Thanks for reading.

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  3. Wow, I never really put these pieces together about how much creativity can help your health! It makes so much sense, though. Thanks for sharing this info!

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    1. Thanks, Emily. I know--it seems to basic, but so easy to overlook. I loved what I learned from these articles, too. I think about things very differently now!

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  4. I love this! I believe that creativity leads to more joy and a healthy life. I am an artist and a writer and find my greatest joy in escaping into my paintings, sketches and even my writings ...

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    1. Thanks, Donna. Yes, I really believe that tapping into creativity can give us joy and in turn better peace and health. I'm glad to hear you know that to be true. :)

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  5. Totally agree, blogging for me is my creative outlet. Its stressful sometimes, but as you mentioned some things are good stress and others are bad.Thanks for highlighting how our creativity / hobbies can contribute to our well-being.

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    1. Having a creative outlet is so important. I've heard it said that when we create we become more like God, and I think there really is something heavenly in creating.

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  6. This is exactly it! Thanks so much for sharing. I cheered out loud when you argued that everyone is creative in some way! Hurrah for creative hobbies! :) #heartandsoullinkup

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  7. This is so validating! We are living in a stressful season with a new baby almost here and a lot going on, but I find myself still enjoying the outlet of working on my hobbies. It leaves me feeling recharged to handle all the challenges that come up. Now I just need to not worry about what other people think! Thanks for sharing! #heartandsoullinup

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  8. Thank you! I'm glad you cheered out loud. :) I firmly, FIRMLY, believe that everyone is creative. We all create, and that's the truth. So glad you enjoyed the post. Thanks so much for the comment. :)

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  9. Alicia, I'm so glad! Yes, definitely do not worry about what other people think. Creative hobbies are really more important than we often give them credit for. I think "recharged" is the perfect word. We NEED that. Thanks so much for the great comment, too. Keep creating! :)

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  10. I find even though I am tired after I've been scrapbooking or writing, it's a good kind of tired and I find such joy in creating something, even if it's just for me.

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  11. Exactly, Donna--a good kind of tired. Like planting flowers. :) I'm so glad you take/make the time to create because it really is rewarding and good for you. Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting. :)

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