Your Creative Health Zone

Can doodling make you healthy? Can creativity change your life?

Stop and think about the happiness you experienced as a child coloring. Do you remember the pride you experienced creating and showing your family your masterpiece and the smiles at the kitchen refrigerator days after as the entire family enjoyed your creativity?

As it turns out, tapping into your creative energy as a child or an adult can enhance your health. You might say… ‘that’s too good to be true, but simply engaging in creative activities (like coloring in adult coloring books) improves brain function, mental and physical health.

Yes, being creative is vital to your overall health! Doodling, coloring, building and painting Matchbox models were all part of tapping into our young imaginations. At our house, we had at least two nights a month that we branded “craft nights,” where we pulled out modeling clay, Lincoln Logs or our favorite cartoon character coloring books and got creative.

So how can playing music or doodling make you healthy? There are numerous ways. Let’s look at the various health benefits to being creative and break it down from there.

BOOSTS HAPPINESS.

At some time in your life, you’ve found yourself completely absorbed in a project. Have you ever been working on a project and completely lost all sense of time? Psychologists call this, a flow state, also known as being “in the zone.” Being in the zone is characterized by the full absorption of what you are doing, and a resulting transformation of your sense of time. Being “in the zone” reduces worry, boosts your mood, and slows your heart rate.

It’s not just being in the zone that boosts your feelings of happiness. Repetitive creative activities like illustrating, drawing, or coloring help activate a flow state. And when you work at being creative your brain is flooded with dopamine, that feel-good chemical that stimulates you. Whether or not you’re mindful of your happiness zone, the hit of dopamine you get after being “in flow” will drive and influence you toward a positive behavior and boosts your happiness.

IMPROVES MENTAL HEALTH.

Each of us have over 50,000 thoughts in a day. A creative activity helps focus our mind and can be compared to meditation due to its calming effects on our brains and bodies.

Creative activities lowers anxiety, depression, and stress. Over the years, many studies have found painting or drawing helps people express trauma or experiences that they find too difficult to put into words.

MAKES YOU SMARTER.

Music lovers, this one’s for you. Growing up, we had wall-to-wall instruments in our home. Did you know, studies show that people who play instruments have better connectivity between their left and right brains? A musician’s left brain is in control of motor functions, while the right brain focuses on melody. When the two hemispheres of your brain connect with each other, your cognitive function increases.

It’s pretty amazing that doing the activities that make us feel are actually good for us. So, grab a pen and start writing, doodling, or coloring. And while you are at it, listen to the music you most enjoy.

Whatever you decide to do, it’s time to get those creative juices flowing and improve your creative and overall health!

Be “in the Creativity Zone.”