Daydreaming counts. So does cooking. Working out, sketching, writing, painting, the list goes on and on. Pick your side hustle, but know that whatever it is, if you do a small creative pursuit a little bit every single day, it leads to more self satisfaction and overall happiness, which is always a good thing.
Using the brain’s creative side during off-work hours can also lead to more happiness at work, reports the Journal of Positive Psychology.
The study asked 658 people to keep a daily diary for 13-days, where they had to log their moods throughout the day. They were asked how creative they were during the day, creative being “coming up with novel or original ideas, expressing oneself in an original and useful way, or spending time doing artistic activities.”
The report said that “people who engaged in creative pursuits today felt significantly more energetic, enthusiastic, and excited the next day.” Researchers said that the connection concluded that “finding ways to encourage everyday creative activities, not just master works of art, could lead directly to increased well-being.”
“Recent experience sampling and diary studies have shown that spending time on creative goals during a day is associated with higher activated positive affect (PA) on that day,” said the report…Each day, they reported how much time they spent on creative activities, daily positive and negative affect, and daily flourishing…[People flourished] following days when they reported more creative activity than usual. The other direction – PA predicting next-day creative activity – was not supported, suggesting that the cross-day effect was specific to creative activity predicting well-being. Overall, these findings support the emerging emphasis on everyday creativity as a means of cultivating positive psychological functioning.”
The study set the creativity bar low enough to be accessible to everyone, meaning your works of art don’t have to end up in a museum. They just have to make your heart happy.
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