Creativity matters. A simple phrase, sometimes a title and always a meaningful statement filled with a promise of expectations.
Research has shown that being creative alters us by improving our mood, self esteem and socialization. A recent article in the Washington Post, “Studies Suggest There’s An Art to Getting Older: Creative Activity May Have Health Benefits.” http://www.washingtonpost.com/wpdyn/content/article/2008/03/10/AR2008031001617.html, addresses current research supporting the benefits of creativity in aging adults. It looks at the physiological change of increased neural activity as well as the joy of expression. And the cumulative results are renewed vitality and a can-do attitude that triggers healing because a new strength emerges that fosters independence.
And creativity can take many forms. It is not black or white, simple or complex; it is an approach and an attitude of coloring your world differently. Everything in our lives can be looked at in other ways. It is not always about art or the talent to draw. We can challenge ourselves to wonder how a purple flower might look if it was red with soft pink edges, or how a story would change if the characters had different intentions, or how your favorite pieces of music would sound if they were blended together. It is the purpose of thinking, imagining and delighting in possibilities.
As older adults, some of our physical abilities have changed so it is important to build new views of old experiences. If you used to enjoy drawing and now have difficulty with using a pen for details, try a different tool, a different art, a different approach to maintaining your creativity. And if you have always felt bereft of talent, get motivated now by signing up for a workshop, joining a museum or perusing unique finds in craft stores or boutiques. Let your eyes look and your mind imagine.
Think creative and be creative today and every day because it is important for your brain activity, your general health and your emotional well being!