microphone

Blogs

Mental health

Why Being Creative is Good For Your Health

Posted by Cassandra Popescu on April 14, 2019
sheet music and violin

As music professionals, we’re lucky to be surrounded by creativity everyday. Whether you’re a songwriter, performer, or working behind-the-scenes, flexing your creative muscles is a blessing that offers benefits to both your physical and mental health. And you don’t always have to be writing a hit song to experience positive results.

 

Even small creative pursuits, like indulging in adult colouring books, can improve your mental and physical health. As busy creatures, humans experience 60,000 thoughts per day and 95% of these thoughts are the same ones each and everyday. Engaging in a creative activity like painting, writing, or playing music silences the hustle and bustle of our minds. The focus we experience when being creative is similar to the serenity of meditation. Immersing yourself in a creative activity boosts your mood, reduces anxiety, and slows down your heart rate.

 

Aside from the mental break these activities provide, incorporating creativity into your daily routine can also make you smarter. For music professionals, this is great news, as playing an instrument improves connectivity between the left and right brain. The connection between the two hemispheres of your brain improves cognitive function as the left and right brain work together to focus on rhythm, motor functions, and melody.

 

Creative activities can offer a number of physical health benefits, too. A U.S. medical study showed that regular journaling improved the immune systems of participants. It was found that people who engaged in experiential writing exhibited an increased CD4+ lymphocyte count, which is instrumental to the functioning of our immune systems.

 

Writing was also found to help those who experience chronic pain. In a report by The Journal of Behavioural Medicine, it was discovered that people who put their negative emotions into writing experienced an improved ability to manage and control pain.

 

As music lovers, we’re not surprised that including creative activities in your life is so beneficial. It’s why we’re grateful for all the music-makers out there who share their art with us. However, it can be hard to recreationally create when it’s a typical part of your job. Make sure you spend some time everyday being creative for the sake of it, or taking up a new hobby to balance with your other activities.

 

Including things like writing, crafting, or dancing into your routine is just as important to your overall health as booking time with a trainer at the gym. Experiment with different activities to see what you like, and embrace all the benefits creativity has to offer. Plus, the more you practice creative pursuits for fun, the better you’ll be when it comes time to write that hit song.

 

The Unison Benevolent Fund provides health and wellness tips to Canadian music professionals. For more tips on healthy living, register with Unison. For more information about the help provided, please visit our Counselling & Health Solutions page.