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There is a plethora of research that proves creative outlets are extremely therapeutic. Creativity has always been a means of escapism and expression that helps to ward off those negative spirals. The concentration creative activities require allows your brain to be distracted and helps you to process thoughts and feelings in a productive way.
Research from scientist Zorana Ivcevic has found that people who partake in creative endeavours such as photography, writing or collaging at least once a day are more content than those who do not. This is not about skill or success either, just the act of practicing an artistic activity has a rewarding affect on your mental state. Instead, the research found that people who engage in creative activities everyday tend to be more open minded, curious, positive, and motivated, and felt more content and wellbeing.
Bullet journals are one of the more trendy and easy ways to be creative in a therapeutic way. Many therapists recommend this practice as the left side of your brain, the analytical hemisphere, is being occupied while the right side of the brain, the creative and sensible hemisphere, is able to wander and express itself. During this process, you fuel your brain with creative juices that encourage you to be more intuitive, inspired, and self-assured. A study from the Cambridge Journal indicated that those who suffer with PTSD conditions or have a history of trauma really benefit from journaling and creative writing. Expression through written word offers a way to work through our deepest fears, challenges, and emotions. Being able to process such heavy topics reduces stress and allows you to purge supressed thoughts and feelings. This, in turn, provides us with self-awareness that can really help you to deal with future challenges and triggers. Healthy coping mechanisms leads to healthy mental wellbeing.
It is not just writing that can have this affect. Anything creative that engages the analytical part of your brain and excites the creative part, AKA anything fun that requires you to concentrate, can have the same benefits. Photography, painting, learning a new art medium, organising, gardening, exercising, meditating and more. If it is something that interests you and will hold your attention, it is worth doing for your mental health.
Here at Ergo, we know how important creativity is. Therefore, during this important week, we urge everyone to get out that keyboard from under the bed, dust off the journals that were never written in, download that digital art programme and do something creative.