A study shows that you can be happy by doing a creative thing each day

We all have our own ways to unwind ourselves after spending 9-5 at the office. Some of us go for a straight binge watching; some hit the gym; some switch the creative lights on and engage in crafty works.

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Each of them has its own aids, but switching the creative lights may be more beneficial, according to Journal of Positive Psychology. It states that indulging oneself in creative pursuits, such as cooking, knitting, doodling, or painting, can improve one’s psyche.

The authors of the study studied 658 volunteers by asking them to keep a daily diary for two weeks, describe their moods and rate how creative they think they were during the course of the day. (For them, creative was defined as “coming up with novel or original ideas; expressing oneself in an original and useful way; or spending time doing artistic activities.”) The participants also had to fill out “flourishing scale”, while ranking their agreement with statements like “Today my social relationships were supportive and rewarding” and “Today I was interested and engaged in my daily activities”.

After analyzing their participants’ responses, the authors implied that “people who engaged in creative pursuits today felt significantly more energetic, enthusiastic, and excited the next day.” They were also the ones who scored themselves highly on the “flourishing scale”. The conclusion states that finding ways to encourage everyday creative activities, not just masterworks of art, could lead directly to increased well-being.

The phrase “Not just master works of art” is key to the study, however. One doesn’t necessarily have to be a talented painter or a prolific writer or a productive composer to be really creative. If you are, that’s great. But the bar of creativity is accessible to all. For instance, daydreaming has shown to have influenced enhanced creativity. If you come up with a punny joke, then even that could fit into what’s been termed as “creativity”. Just come up with novel ideas, and you can be creative. And that’s how you can be happy.

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