Creativity Can Boost Wellbeing
If you want to increase your sense of wellbeing and boost self-esteem try cultivating your creativity. It doesn’t seem to matter whether you write a poem, compose a song, devise a new recipe, paint, draw, sketch or design something, according to research from psychologists at New Zealand’s University of Otago. The investigators wanted to know if people feel better emotionally after engaging in everyday creative acts. To find out, they asked 658 university students to keep diaries for 13 days and record how much time they spent on creative activities as well as their emotional states. Analysis of the diaries revealed that the students felt more enthusiasm and higher “flourishing” than usual the days after they were more creative. (The researchers explained “flourishing” as a psychological concept that can be described as increasing positive growth in oneself.) The study also showed that a greater sense of wellbeing led to even more creativity. The team concluded that engaging in creative pursuits is a means of cultivating positive psychological functioning.
Tamlin S. Conner et al, “Everyday creative activity as a path to flourishing.” The Journal of Positive Psychology, November 17, 2016; 1 DOI: 10.1080/17439760.2016.1257049
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