Creativity and Heart Health

Being Creative

There are so many ways, whether through the arts, sciences, or social interactions, to be creative. However, many people think of creativity as being a talented artist or performer. But creativity is by no means limited to one or two areas. In fact, creativity is the product of one’s imagination and the ability to see things through a new perspective. Being creative means having a different outlook, a nuanced way in which to see things that most do not or cannot see. It is about being able to express yourself in ways that appeal to your heart and soul and speak, most specifically, to you.

While some of the more standard and oft described methods of creative expression include works of art, scientific innovation, and problem solving, that by no means minimizes their profound effects on mental, physical, and spiritual health. Whether you enjoy singing, dancing, writing, or making contributions to the medical world, all forms of creative expression have a few things in common. For one, these expressions help us process and translate the world. Writers for example, are able to fashion deeply meaningful poems, often because of the fertile thoughts that guide them to pen and paper. Ingenuitive thought that finds its way out into the world, can not only help others, but decrease feelings of anxiety and dissipate some of the tensions in which our world is enveloped.

Creative expression, by virtue of its intertwining of new ideas and the ability to share them, also makes people smarter. How? The process of innovation requires one to see things in ways that require in depth thought, with an eye towards distinctive, bold possibilities. This in turn demands the establishment of new, neural pathways that allow these thoughts to flourish.

What Drives Creativity

The creative process requires three key ideas: energy, intelligence, and discipline. Individuals who are driven to express their creativity are people who devote time and energy to reflecting on and fine tuning their ideas. And while creativity does not require anyone to be a literal genius, there does appear to be a link between the two phenomena. Intelligent people are not necessarily creative, but creative individuals, do, according to longstanding research, appear to be rather intelligent. Creative behavior and conduct require conviction, dedication and discipline in order to both express and continue to pursue the passions that drive us.

Heart Health and the Creative Mind

While creativity is good for the soul, science has shown that it is in fact good for the human heart as well. As cardiovascular disease becomes a greater risk to public welfare worldwide, being creative and expressing that creativity can be perhaps safer than some of the medications and surgeries modern medicine offers.

For example, activities, whether they require physical movement (dance) or not (writing) have been shown to boost relaxation, decrease anxiety, encourage socialization, and improve self esteem. Each of these benefits are known contributors to heart health on their own, which means they are in turn that much more effective when acting in concert. Add to this the fact that studies have also shown that creativity bolsters mental health, because that also contributes to inner peace and heart health.

Additionally, the side effects of creativity often encourage individuals to take care of themselves, maintain a positive self image, and depending on the type of expression, increase their levels of physical fitness. These behaviors not only contribute to heart health, but total body management. This, because people who feel like contributing members of society, tend to stay away from dangerous and addictive behaviors such as drug abuse or alcoholism. It seems that when your mind is the “crutch” you rely on, addictions to outside sources seem futile at best.

“But I am Not Good at Anything”

So many people assume that creativity is the same as being talented, but it is not. Expressing yourself and stirring your imagination is about the process and discovering the passions that strengthen you. Being creative does not mean becoming Picasso or Baryshnikov, but engaging in activities that fill you, calm you, and draw you in.

Some of the greatest and most creative minds have expressed the notion that “creativity is intelligence having fun (Albert Einstein).” Others (((((((((((((Henri Matisse) have stated that “creative people are curious, and flexible, persistent and independent, with a tremendous spirit of adventure, and a love of play.” Even contemporaries like Steve Jobs have shared that “creativity is just having enough dots to connect.” It seems then that what is really at the heart of creativity is a sprinkling of intelligence and fun, coupled with curiosity and adventure, and dots that often lead to uncharted levels of personal growth and a happy, healthy heart. When you are ready to discuss how to get your creative juices and heart health in shape, contact Dr. Shahen Kurestian, DC of Body Systems and Wellness and Glendale, California.

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