Whether you play music, paint, write, garden or cook, you know how great it feels express your creativity in a healthy way. In fact, for many of us, when we are creating something, hours can seem like minutes.

I used to paint with watercolors and now I spend time making an online family recipe book/photo album. As I organize the recipes and crop and edit the pictures, I get so lost in it that I completely lose track of time and it gives me a true sense of joy and satisfaction.

There are cognitive theories that being creative can help with many emotional and mental disorders. Therapists use different creative outlets to work with trauma patients and help people recovering from addiction. Creating has been part of human nature since the early times. So how does creativity help your health positively?  Here are five ways.

Creating has been part of human nature since the early times. So exactly how does creativity have a positive impact on our health? Here are five ways.

  • 1

    Reduces Stress

    Working on something creative helps reduce stress and anxiety which in turn improves the health of your heart and body.

  • 2

    Elevates Mood

    Having something you enjoy doing can help lift your spirits, especially if you have had a rough day or you are going through a difficult time. Getting lost in a project is a great way to add joy to your life. Creativity can trigger a chemical in your body called dopamine which makes you feel happy.

  • 3

    Promotes Mental Health and Immunity

    Having a creative outlet promotes healing by reducing stress and inflammation for people with chronic illness. Creativity can also help with addiction and trauma therapy. This is particularly true of the benefits of creative writing, which allows patients to have an outlet to cope with the trauma of living with a chronic illness. It helps people who have survived those experiences in a way speaking cannot.

  • 4

    Boost Brain Health

    Having a creative outlet has positive impacts on cognitive health. Researchers have found that creativity affects the brain in a positive way. Musicians, in particular, have been studied for the heightened connectivity between their left and right brain hemispheres.

  • 5

    Increases Self-Awareness

    The more you create, the more you understand your habits, impulses, and needs. When you take the time and energy to develop our own ideas, you improve your ability to express yourself to others.