Fact: There aren't enough hours in the day to check off every item on your must-do list, much less indulge in your favorite hobbies. That's why your paints/knitting needles/musical instruments ended up in the back of your storage closet, after all. Now, though, it might be time to make time for those long-forgotten hobbies, because doing one creative thing every day is closely linked to feeling happier, according to a November 2016 study published in the Journal of Positive Psychology,
To conduct the study, researchers asked 658 participants to keep a daily diary for 13 days, logging details on their mood and any creative activities they engaged in. Participants also completed a daily survey that the researchers called a "flourishing scale," in which the participants ranked their agreement with statements such as "Today I was interested and engaged in my daily activities," and "Today my social relationships were supportive and rewarding."
After analyzing the diaries and accompanying flourishing scales, the researchers found that those participants who had engaged in even the smallest of creative activities every day seemed to be the happiest ones: They "felt significantly more energetic, enthusiastic, and excited the next day," according to the study's authors.
Perhaps the best part of the researchers' findings, however, was that the daily "creative thing" doesn't have to be anything too elaborate. For the purposes of this study, creativity was simply defined as "coming up with novel or original ideas; expressing oneself in an original and useful way; or spending time doing artistic activities" — and the authors wrote that "finding ways to encourage everyday creative activities, not just master works of art, could lead directly to increased well-being."
So go ahead and start cooking, crafting, coloring... the possibilities are endless!
[h/t Science of Us]