One key to aging well is making the right choices. Ones that reflect your interests, health, happiness and wellbeing. These decisions could minimize your risk of developing chronic conditions, positively impact your independence, and even influence your physical and mental health.
Having control over so many choices allows you to incorporate a variety of factors into improving overall health and wellness.
There are several actions you can take to reach your wellness goals, including:
- Eating well
- Getting enough sleep
- Maintaining a regular exercise routine
- Creating a healthy social network
- Developing a positive outlook on aging
- Reducing your stress
But there may be another step you can choose. If you’re looking to add more fun and fulfillment to your life, consider tapping into your creative side.
Why creativity is beneficial to aging and living well
Creativity promotes several health benefits but also adds to your quality and enjoyment of life. And it’s never too late to begin. Even if not yet discovered, imagination and creativity in older adults can thrive.
Artistic activities can encourage older adults to remain engaged in life. The selection of how to express that art isn’t limited. Painting, writing, poetry, dancing, expressive movements, and music are just a few choices available.
Art and other creative endeavors can provide powerful advantages, especially when it comes to aging well. Consider the following benefits that research has uncovered:
- Activities based in meaning, purpose, and honesty can lead to wisdom and integrity. Participating in art can bring meaning and purpose to the lives of older adults.
- Creating art can improve cognitive functions by producing new neural pathways. Art helps the brain use more efficient networks or strategies, increasing brain reserve capacity.
- We age but our creative abilities don’t necessarily deteriorate. The older brain responds well to art and allows the two hemispheres to increasingly work in tandem.
Source: Today’s Geriatric Medicine
5 benefits of creativity
If you’re interested in learning more about the advantages that creativity can bring to your well-being, consider the following:
- Increases sense of self-esteem When you’re creative, you often experience a sense of accomplishment as you learn a new skill, complete a project and build up your confidence. Your imaginative endeavors may provide you with a sense of purpose and meaning. Those who spend time nurturing their artistic side generally report a sense of happiness and feeling better about themselves.
- Promotes self-expression For many people, finding ways to express what they’re thinking also helps them understand their beliefs as well. Thoughts that remain unexpressed can promote negative feelings. Art therapy is known for its ability to help people communicate and deal with their grief, medical conditions, personal challenges, or to uncover a long-lost passion.
- Reduces depression and anxiety Older adults who participate in art therapy often report decreased feelings of anxiety, depression, and stress. They also note fewer experiences of loneliness and improved positive moods. Immersing yourself in art activities can be relaxing, provide a distraction from worries, and help you momentarily forget your troubles.
- Fosters a stronger sense of identity How you see yourself greatly influences how you act, think, and feel. Choosing to cultivate your artistic talents can help you further define your sense of identity as you explore the world around you. Discovering your creative outlet can help you form a stronger awareness of character and provide the platform for self-expression.
- Assists in socializationAnother advantage of participating in artistic activities is that even though creativity might occur at an individual level, you may also be joining or meeting others with similar interests. Finding those who share your passion, whether it’s painting, sculpting or woodworking, can be a first step to great friendships.
How a Senior Living community can boost your creativity
If you’re looking for a creative outlook or a lifestyle to support your inspiration, you may want to consider all that a senior living community can offer.
There are many benefits to support your efforts to age well, including:
- Private residences
- Independent lifestyles
- Maintenance-free living
- Healthy dining options
- Social events
But you will also find several opportunities to nurture your creativity.
Many communities offer art studios, workshops, and classes where you can express or explore your artistic side. The added benefit is that you will find much in common with many of your neighbors and fellow residents, quickly forming life-long friendships.
Senior Living at Northbridge Communities
At Northbridge Communities, we are here to support your efforts to live fully, including participating creatively to age well. We hope the above information helped you to better understand the important health effects that art can provide.
You’ll find several creative opportunities in our communities, including our Project Pollock program. Based on artist Jackson Pollock’s style of Abstract Expressionism which welcomes improvisation, our program follows his belief that painting is self-discovery and allows the artist to paint what he or she is.
Pollock was inspired by the space and objects of everyday life and his artwork has been described as “imparting life to matter” and “pure creativity.” Our innovative program encourages memory care residents and their families to express themselves by throwing balloons filled with different colors of paint onto a white canvas, with each color representing a different emotion.
The purpose of this activity is to:
- Encourage family engagement
- Provide a space to release emotions
- Support the emotional journey of caring for someone with dementia
- Discover feelings about Alzheimer’s that may be masked by anger or sadness
- Put a name to the emotions being felt
- Partner our residents, family members and associates who are all experiencing this journey together
Of course, the advantages of our senior living communities don’t end there. You’ll also find:
- Private residences
- Independent lifestyle
- Maintenance-free living
- Cultural programs and events
- Delicious chef-prepared meals
- Activities and social events
- Opportunities to meet and make new friends