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Kurt Vonnegut once said that practicing any art ― no matter how badly ― makes the soul grow. “So do it,” he wisely advised.

Psychologists have now come to a similar conclusion. According to a recent study out of New Zealand, engaging in creative activities contributes to an “upward spiral” of positive emotions, psychological well-being and feelings of “flourishing” in life.

This isn’t just good news for people who work in creative fields. Anyone who finds time for creative hobbies and side projects like writing in a journal, sketching, crafting or playing the ukulele is likely to experience the same effect.

For the study, which was published Nov. 17 in the Journal of Positive Psychology, 658 volunteers were asked to keep a diary for 13 days, rating how creative they had been over the course of the day and describing their overall mood. Creativity was defined as coming up with new ideas, expressing oneself in an original way or spending time engaged in artistic pursuits.

Each day, the participants also rated how much they felt they were “flourishing” ― which the researchers define as experiencing positive personal growth ― by assessing things like how engaged they felt in their daily activities and how rewarding their social interactions were.

A clear pattern emerged in the diary entries. Immediately after the days participants were more creative, they said they felt more enthusiastic and energized ― in other words, they were flourishing more.

“This finding suggests a particular kind of upward spiral for well-being and creativity,” Dr. Tamlin Conner, a psychologist at New Zealand’s University of Otago and the study’s lead author, stated in a press release. “Engaging in creative behavior leads to increases in well-being the next day, and this increased well-being is likely to facilitate creative activity on the same day.”

Creating and expressing ourselves gives us a sense of purpose, according to Tony Wagner, a senior research fellow at Harvard and author of Creating Innovators: The Making of Young People Who Will Change the World.

Creativity can also help lower stress and anxiety, enhance resilience and contribute to a sense of playfulness and curiosity. Engaging in creative activities and art-based therapies has also been linked to improved physical and mental health.

But if you don’t consider yourself an “artist,” don’t worry. You don’t have to have any particular creative talents to benefit from creative activity. Anything from experimenting with a new dinner recipe to creating a mood board on Pinterest can give you that creative boost.

As the study’s authors concluded, “Finding ways to encourage everyday creative activities, not just master works of art, could lead directly to increased well-being.”

Happy upward spiraling!

SOURCE: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/creativity-happiness-psychology_us_58419e0ce4b0c68e0480689a?section=us_healthy-living


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Practice Policy Update Regarding COVID-19

Dear Patients:

Our patients, employees and family are our top priority at Long Island Spine Specialists, P.C.

We ask you to not visit any of our locations if you have symptoms such as fever, sneezing, coughing and possible shortness of breath.

Please cancel your appointment and re-schedule once you are feeling better and are no longer suffering with symptoms.

Only non-symptomatic patients will be seen. No exceptions.

Accompanying family members – including children – are asked to remain in the waiting area and will not be allowed to enter the exam rooms.

During this time of high concern regarding the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) we are taking extra precautions to maintain the highest possible standards of safety and cleanliness. Please be advised that we are carefully following recommendations from both the CDC and WHO and are here to help guide you through this time if needed.

Some steps we are taking to keeping safe:

  1. We know how important cleanliness is and always maintain the highest standards of cleanliness. To further offer you peace of mind, we have increased the frequency of the cleaning of our office.
  2. Rest assured that hand washing is strictly followed. Hand sanitizer is available to all staff and patients.
  3. Additionally, if you have recently traveled to a country with high rates of the coronavirus or have been on a cruise, please reschedule your visit for at least 14 days from your return date. We will gladly accommodate your needs to reschedule. At that time, a telehealth interface can be arranged if necessary.

Find up-to-date and accurate information on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website and feel free to reach out with questions.

- Your team at Long Island Spine Specialists, P.C.

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To learn more about Long Island Spine Specialists – and to discover how we can relieve your pain and help you find an improved quality of life – please contact our office today and schedule a consultation.

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