Tapping into our creative mind can boost our problem solving skills, improve our mood, and enhance our motivation. But, did you know that wellness can be a great way to spark our creativity, leading to happiness and better overall health? Wellness, which comes in many forms, stimulates our brain to release various chemicals, allows us to move our bodies in new ways, and opens the door to trying new things. Whether it’s your constant workout schedule, perfected morning and night routines, or your consistent supplement intake (including Bloat and Calm, of course!), there are various ways to engage our mental and physical health, leading to more creativity overall. Keep reading to learn more about how you can use wellness to your advantage, creating that creative edge that lets you thrive even more.
Some of us may think of ourselves as more of “left brain” thinkers; as in, math and logic come more easily to us. In the past, creativity might have been defined as reserved for the best artists and musicians in the world, seemingly out of reach. However, creativity can be defined in a plethora of ways: whether you’re into fashion, cooking, makeup, or passionate about getting outdoors, creativity is what you make of it! Any activity that allows you to express yourself in your own way is creative! One thing always holds true, though: an active body leads to a more active mind. So, you might be wondering: ‘Now what?’ The way to “hack” creativity is actually to use wellness to its fullest when it comes to gains in our mental health.
Multiple studies have linked creativity and happiness, which both directly correlate to our wellness routines. A review of over 100 existing studies, done by Stuckey and Noble in 2010, found that creative expression has a powerful impact on the health and wellbeing of various patient demographics. The analysis found that participation in the arts led to a variety of outcomes, including an increase in positive emotions, a decrease in depressive symptoms, a reduction in stress response, and even–in some cases–improvements in immune system functioning! Being in a better mood, and feeling the freedom to be expressive, leads to a heightened desire to try new things, like a new workout or a new journal prompt. A study at Drexel University found that when people did more artwork, they experienced a boost to their brain pleasure pathways. This increased blood flow to their brain’s reward centers made them feel happier and more confident, raising their desire to participate in both creative and non-creative pursuits.
Creativity, and the activities that stimulate it, are all a true mind-body experience. Alpha brain waves, in particular, play a key role in enhancing creativity and reducing depression. These waves are released when our brains are in an idle state, not focused on anything. Alpha waves are released when we are engaged in activities like daydreaming, meditating, or practicing mindfulness. That’s why stress-relieving activities, like meditation, make us feel so calm; our brains are relaxed and not paying attention to unwanted distractions. A 2015 study, done using non-invasive brain stimulation, found that alpha wave activity was directly correlated with creativity and offered promise in reducing depression. Our brains house our creative minds, and we’re able to tap into it to reap various benefits. Continue reading to learn more about activities that release alpha waves so you can conjure creativity and decrease depression, one wellness technique at a time!
- Meditation: Allowing the body to simply exist, without the brain focusing on anything specific, does wonders for our alpha brain wave activity.
- Deep Breathing: Taking intentional deep inhales and exhales calms the mind and body, allowing you to be in a better state of mind throughout the day.
- Practicing Gratitude and Mindfulness: This practice has been proven to increase alpha brain wave activity, and is especially beneficial in helping those of us with chronic anxiety, pain, or depression.
- Yoga: A regular yoga practice enhances alpha brain stimulation, along with a host of other benefits.
- Aerobics: Not only is your favorite spin class fun, but it also releases alpha waves. Ride along to your favorite song and calm the brain, all at once.
Brower, Tracy. “How to Be More Creative and Boost Happiness: 6 Ways to Get Inspired.”Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 13 Jan. 2022, https://www.forbes.com/sites/tracybrower/2021/07/25/how-to-be-more-creative-and-boost-happiness-6-ways-to-get-inspired/?sh=e347dd37d70b.
Creativity as a Wellness Practice - Psychology Today. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/arts-and-health/201512/creativity-wellness-practice.
Cherry, Kendra. “What Effect Do Alpha Brain Waves Have on Depression?”Verywell Mind, Verywell Mind, 1 Apr. 2021, https://www.verywellmind.com/what-are-alpha-brain-waves-5113721.