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How Expressing Yourself in a Creative Outlet Reduces Stress

Create Much? 

 Ok, gonna start this off with an important note: You do not have to be "creative" for this to be helpful. In fact, it’s almost definitely more fun if you’re not. With that being said, art class is officially in session. Today is all about expressing yourself creatively. Try a quick doodle or sketch of, well....anything! Don't feel like drawing? Jot down a few rhyming words....boom! Poetry.  If you’re feeling ambitious, try humming a tune while you doodle. What you do is not what's important, it’s the doing that matters. So have at it. And no, you don’t need to show it to anyone (unless you want to).

It's science

  • Scientists have discovered that no matter the artistic experience of study participants, about 75 percent experienced a decrease in their levels of cortisol, a hormone that the body secretes to respond to stress.
  • Brain studies of jazz musicians while performing improvisation showed that there was a decrease of activity in the region of the brain known as the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, which is typically associated with thought, deliberation and self-monitoring. This is the part of the brain that you use when taking a tough exam or trying to interpret the words of a potential investor.
  • Psychologist, Nicolas Turiano, has been quoted stating that "Individuals high in creativity maintain the integrity of their neural networks even into old age .... Keeping the brain healthy may be one of the most important aspects of aging successfully,"


Where should you start?

Start a sketchbook or sing a song out loud. It doesn’t have to be a proper, fancy sketchbook or song by Beyonce. Anything will do, just as long as you're doing one thing, flexing your creative muscles. Whatever you do, it doesn’t have to be gallery or Grammy worthy, it just has to be expressive. Go get em Monet!

Extra credit

If you like this new artistic version of yourself, keep pushing. Most communities offer local art classes of all kinds. You can get started online with courses like these and these.


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