Now’s The Time To Find Your Creative Side
Most people go through their lives telling themselves some version of “I don’t have a creative bone in my body.” This is a shame, because it simply isn’t true.
All humans have a huge capacity for creativity, and exercising these parts of your brain is one of the most fulfilling feelings. While kids and careers can eat up your spare time and prevent you from undertaking creative projects, retirement offers a perfect opportunity to do so. There are many health benefits that stem from a creative lifestyle, as well as different creative activities to try out.
Health Benefits of Creativity
Creativity, like almost all other positive behaviours for seniors, offers benefits to your health. Using your brain creatively is just as important as exercising your body. Some of the health benefits of keeping an active mind include:
- A better and more committed approach to health and exercise
- Fewer accidental falls
- Fewer medications
- Decreased doctor’s visits
There are also a number of psychological benefits that stem from creativity. Retirement can be a time of frustration, as your life changes radically and old routines disappear. Finding an outlet for these feelings is key to a happy and peaceful retirement. Experts have found that seniors who practice creative expression are less frustrated, less overwhelmed, and say they feel more in control of their lives. Take a look at this study by geriatric psychologist Gene Cohen (550kb PDF download) if the benefits of creativity interest you.
Physical Creation Vs. Creative Thought
Now that you know the benefits of choosing a creative hobby, it’s time to figure out what you might like to try out. The main division between creative pursuits is between physical creation and creative thought. Physical creation is building or making something, such as through painting, sculpting, drawing, knitting, or woodworking. Creative thought is using your imagination to create or solve problems, such as in writing, playing or making music, and even mathematics or computer programming.
Whichever of these attracts your attention, put some effort into learning and improving. Even if you can’t get the hang of it immediately, overcoming obstacles and growing personally are the real goals here. So whether you’re painting portraits of your friends, or writing a memoir to pass on to your children and grandchildren, try to fully commit yourself to the practice of creativity.