Get creative

If you need to boost your mood, grab a sketchbook or a guitar. Research from New Zealand’s University of Otago has found that spending a few minutes pursuing a creative hobby works wonders.

For the study, Dr Tamlin Conner and researchers from the Department of Psychology asked 658 university students to keep a daily diary of their experiences over 13 days. After analysing the diaries, they found that participants felt more enthusiasm and higher “flourishing” than usual following days when they were more creative.

Flourishing is a psychological concept that can be described as increasing positive growth in oneself.

Researchers found that participants felt more enthusiasm and higher “flourishing” than usual following days when they were more creative.

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Some of the creative activities pursued included songwriting, creative writing, knitting and crochet, recipe development, painting, drawing, and sketching, graphic and digital design and musical performance.

“There is growing recognition in psychology research that creativity is associated with emotional functioning however, most of this work focuses on how emotions benefit or hamper creativity, not whether creativity benefits or hampers emotional wellbeing,” Dr Conner says.

They conclude that “overall, these findings support the emerging emphasis on everyday creativity as a means of cultivating positive psychological functioning.”

Source: University of Otago via Sciencedaily.com

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