In an article, by Tori Rodriguez, posted on Scientific America, researchers found that creativity and creative people live longer:
“The researchers found that only creativity—not intelligence or overall openness—decreased mortality risk. One possible reason creativity is protective of health is because it draws on a variety of neural networks within the brain, says study author Nicholas Turiano, now at the University of Rochester Medical Center. “Individuals high in creativity maintain the integrity of their neural networks even into old age,” Turiano says.
Because the brain is the command center for all bodily functions, exercising it helps all systems to continue running smoothly. “Keeping the brain healthy may be one of the most important aspects of aging successfully—a fact shown by creative persons living longer in our study,” Turiano says.
He also cites creative people’s ability to handle stress—they tend not to get as easily flustered when faced with an emotional or physical hurdle. Stress is known to harm overall health, including cardiovascular, immune and cognitive systems.”
Read the full article here: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/open-mind-longer-life/
When my nest was finally empty it left me with time…and it reawakened my creative side. Creativity had meant finger painting, building models, play-doh, cutting, pasting, coloring (inside the lines), etc. Now I had the time to try new crafting projects that I had been wanting to do. First I got into Amish Knot Rugs. I taught myself how to make rugs with a technique that is all one piece of cloth and needs no sewing or stitching together. I really enjoyed making rugs. I started with a round one for our foyer. Then I moved on to an oval one for our bedroom, and followed that with a smaller oval for in front of the fireplace. Then I wrecked my elbow and had to have surgery and had to give up that hobby.
Next, I created a cool chandelier for our sun porch with fairy lights, succulents and cascading silk flowers.
I also tried to remember how to crochet, something I had not done since I was a child, and made a few fall decorations this year that way. I taught myself how to make paper flowers and was able to make some really cool gifts out of them. Then I got into metal stamping and bought a Maker’s Kit from MyIntent Project. In order to make some cool bracelets for my metal stamping pieces, I taught myself the Japanese braiding technique called Kumihimo…really fun!
Now we have moved on to making some cool things for our son’s upcoming wedding reception which I will share later.
My point in all of this is simple. When the nest empties, it’s a great time to expand your experiences…maybe read that book you have always wanted to, try a new craft, sport, or activity. Focus those extra energies in a new direction and let your creativity flow. It seems the older I get, the more I need a creative outlet. This blog, in fact, is part of that outlet for me. So go ahead, try something new! Dive right in! I would love comments from all of you about the new and exciting ways you fill your time, now that the nest is empty. After all, I am always looking for a new project!