Creativity Boosts Mental Health

Creativity Boosts Mental Health

The Power of Creativity: Boosting Mental Health and Finding Peace of Mind

Creative Activities

Have you ever wondered how to achieve real peace of mind? Look no further than engaging in some form of creative activity. According to a recent poll conducted by the American Psychiatric Association (APA), individuals who participate in creative activities, such as crafting, playing a musical instrument, or painting, report better mental health and overall well-being. In today’s stressful times, where work and responsibilities often drain our energy and mental health, it’s crucial to explore activities that can help us relax, rejuvenate, and escape the daily grind.

Dr. Petros Levounis, President of the APA, emphasizes the value of creative activities as a means to take a step back and engage our brains in a different way. He explains, “Picking up that paintbrush or solving a tricky puzzle can truly move us to a different mindset.” The poll revealed that approximately 46% of American adults use creative activities as a way to alleviate stress and anxiety. Interestingly, those who rate their mental health as “very good” or “excellent” tend to participate in these creative endeavors more frequently than those who consider their mental health to be “fair” or “poor.”

This Healthy Minds Monthly Poll, which interviewed 2,202 adults in June, displays a positive trend in American adults’ mental health. About 77% of respondents consider their current mental health to be good or better, compared to 63% in early 2023. Moreover, the poll also highlighted the connection between engaging in creative activities and enhanced mental health. Approximately 70% of individuals who reported “very good” or “excellent” mental health regularly participated in creative activities, as opposed to 50% of those with good mental health and only 46% of individuals with fair or poor mental health.

It’s important to acknowledge that while this survey provides valuable insights, it cannot definitively prove that tapping into our creative side directly improves mental health. However, “creative activities are an excellent way to express oneself and to take some time off from the everyday routine,” says Dr. Saul Levin, CEO, and Medical Director of the APA. These activities align with other positive actions that boost mental health, such as spending time with friends, embracing nature by taking walks, or engaging in exercise. The APA believes it is crucial to emphasize these positive actions and include them in the public discourse surrounding mental health.

When asked about specific creative activities individuals engage in to relieve stress and anxiety, the poll identified a range of popular choices. Approximately 77% of respondents stated they listened to music, 39% enjoyed solving puzzles, and one-quarter engaged in singing or dancing. Similarly, drawing, painting, and sculpting were popular outlets for approximately another quarter of participants. The survey data also showcased the significance of crafting, creative writing, attending concerts, and creating online content as stress-relieving activities. Notably, some individuals found solace in playing musical instruments, visiting art museums, and pursuing activities like gardening or cooking.

In their free time, 65% of respondents mentioned engaging in creative activities. Interestingly, roughly 37% pursued these hobbies out of boredom, 19% while working, and 14% during times of crisis. These findings demonstrate that creativity not only serves as a stress-reliever but also offers individuals a sense of purpose, productivity, and an avenue for self-expression.

The benefits of creativity on mental health are undeniable. While the exact mechanisms at play may be complex, creative activities undoubtedly unlock a world of possibilities for emotional release, self-discovery, and personal growth. So go ahead and pick up that paintbrush, write a heartfelt poem, or strum that guitar. You might just find that engaging in creative activities opens up new vistas of tranquility, peace, and improved mental well-being.

More information

For more information on the benefits of art for mental health, visit the University of Washington.

-SOURCE: American Psychiatric Association, news release, July 6, 2023

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