New study: people with these 5 creative hobbies are happier

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Several studies have examined creativity, leisure pursuits and well-being are linked. Generally, fun pursuits are also known as restorers, as they provide an opportunity to recover from stress and difficult life decisions. A new survey conducted by the American Psychiatry Association in July 2023 supports this scientific assumption, finding that Americans who engage in creative activities at least once a week report better mental health than people who do not pursue creative hobbies. It found that five activities, in particular, can boost well-being.

Behind the research is the idea that these activities can provide a sense of protection or relaxation, which is thought to increase positive emotions and thus impact physical and mental health. Other scientific studies also suggest this. Yet creative hobbies don’t just have mental health benefits. They also affect morbidity and mortality, weight distribution, and blood pressure.

According to the July 2023 survey, these five creative activities helped most people reduce stress:

  1. Listening to music
    In the survey, 77 percent of participants said listening to music helped relieve stress and anxiety. Other scientific studies have also looked at the positive effect of listening to music on well-being and have come to this conclusion. Listening to enjoyable music can balance the amygdala – the part of the brain that regulates emotions. Other studies also support the assumption that this part of the brain reacts when the music is perceived as pleasant and cheerful.

A 2022 study from Mongolia found that pop, metal, rock, Western classical music and traditional Chinese music have a positive relationship between a person’s mental health and daily behaviour. In addition, music can also relieve pain, improve posture and movement, and reduce restlessness caused by illness. In this regard, just leaving music playing in the background and not actively listening is enough to relieve anxiety and stress.

  1. Solving riddles
    Also, 40 percent of respondents said that solving puzzles helps them reduce stress. According to a 2021 study by the Department of Pharmacology at the Ananta Institute of Medical Sciences & Research Center in India, crossword puzzles can also expand vocabulary, stimulate thinking, boost self-confidence and increase learning ability. According to the PERMA happiness model, a psychological method for happiness, solving puzzles can also arouse the feeling of achieving something. This increases positive emotions and reduces stress and anxiety.
  2. Singing and Dancing
    Among respondents, 25 percent said singing and dancing helped them regulate stress. Another 2017 study found that singing together promotes cognitive health and well-being in older people with mental health problems, lung disease, stroke or dementia. In addition, synchronized movements with live music also activate memory and perception.
  3. Drawing, Painting and Sculpting
    Art therapy is already recognized for the treatment of diseases. This nonverbal form can help alleviate depression and anxiety disorders. Also, 24 percent of survey participants said that drawing, painting, or sculpting helps them relieve stress. In addition, other research shows that creating art promotes work planning and execution, as well as independence.
  4. Creative writing
    Keeping a journal is a widely used tool in treating mental illness. Also, 16 percent of respondents said that being poetic and creative with language helps them when stressed.

These five activities are just a few of many others that could benefit mental health. Any action undertaken outside of everyday life can improve mental and physical well-being.

  • source: freizeit.at/picture: gerry de guzman
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