Happy New Year!

Last week I went to the spinning class that I do once a week. The parking lot in front of the gym was packed, the childcare was exploding with new kids, and for the first time I could barely find a bike in the class in which I can usually be as picky as I want to find my perfect spot. And I realized that the whole building was full with good intentions. I could almost physically feel those new year’s resolutions to get back in shape, to be healthier, to lead a better life. But I could also envision how the room was going to thin out week by week until we get back to our usual group of spinners. Just as it happened last year. And the year before that. All these people want to make a change. But over 90 % of all resolutions fail. Why does it so often not work to say I should lose 10 pounds…I have to start exercising…I must eat healthier?

Because every single time we are not meeting our standards – when we eat that one piece of chocolate, when we postpone the gym by even a day – we feel guilt. We feel like we are failing. And those feelings make us feel weak. To be successful in reaching our goals we have to switch and find something that makes us stronger.

But what can we do to feel happier, more content with ourselves, confident and strong?

Studies* show that doing something creative, regularly, has exactly these effects. Make room for creativity in your year of 2016!

Being creative is not a luxury – it’s an investment in the quality of your life.

Doing something creative is often seen as a treat, like having a nice dinner or watching TV. Something you do when you have time left at the end of the day, or the end of the week. A fun thing to do when you are done with all your chores and duties.

But often life gets in the way. Writing, crafting, or painting remain some of the things we want to do but we just never get to. We have to move being creative to the top of our priority list. Why? Because it has such a positive impact on our grip on life.

When you paint or do other creative things you relax, you mute those thoughts that have been spinning around your head all day long, you focus on the moment, on the paint strokes that evolve in your hands. When you are creative you align your intuition and your consciousness. Being creative is an outlet for the thoughts and feelings that you had to keep under control all day long. It is a healthy way to vent and to let go. This is why being creative refuels you and fills up your energy. When you are recharged you are stronger and can better tackle other things that life throws at you.

When you feel strong and are in a good mood you become much more efficient. Here’s an example of this: If you want to clean and reorganize your house while feeling down, it will take forever. Every decision – whether to keep those pants, where to file those papers – will be hard and drain your energy even more when you are feeling down. Whereas when your spirits are up every step seems easy and you notice that every step brings you closer to a more organized house or office.

Being creative lifts your spirits and alters your mood. It empowers you because it involves your whole self. And that is a very satisfying experience. Ultimately being creative makes you happier. Remember, being creative is not a luxury; it’s an investment in the quality of your life.

January is only half over. There is still 95% of 2016 left. Get creative in 2016. For a stronger and happier you.



* The Connection Between Art, Healing, and Public Health, 2010, in the American Journal of Public Health

The art of being mentally healthy from The University of Western Australia, published in the journal BMC Public Health, 2015


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