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Feeling Stressed? Make Something!

We all know that feeling. You know the one. It starts with a tightness in your chest and a knot in your stomach. Your heart races and your mind won’t stop racing. You might even start to feel a little bit lightheaded. Yup, that’s stress, all right. And it’s no fun.

But what if I told you that there was a way to reduce stress that was actually fun? That’s right, I’m talking about engaging in creative activities! Whether it’s painting, drawing, writing, knitting, felting, baking or even just doodling, studies have shown that getting your creative juices flowing can help to lower stress levels and improve your overall mood.

The Science Behind It
It turns out that there is actually some science to back up the idea that being creative can help reduce stress levels. A study published in the journal Art Therapy found that participants who engaged in art-making activities had lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol than those who didn’t. Cortisol is sometimes referred to as the “stress hormone” because it’s released by the body in response to stressful situations.

So, how does being creative help reduce cortisol levels? One theory is that when we’re focused on creating something, we’re not focused on whatever is causing our stress. This distraction can help us to relax and de-stress, even if only for a little while. Additionally, the act of creation itself can be calming and therapeutic.

Creative Activities You Can Do To Reduce Stress Levels
Don’t worry if you don’t consider yourself a “creative type.” There are plenty of activities you can do that count as being creative—and they don’t have to be complicated or time-consuming. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

• Draw or paint a picture
• Write a short story or poem
• Make a collage
• Scrapbook
• Knit or crochet
• Bake or cook something new
• Play an instrument
• garden

In addition, creative activities can also help to boost your mood by releasing feel-good chemicals like dopamine and endorphins. So not only will you feel less stressed while you’re doing them, but you’ll also feel better afterwards! It’s a win-win situation.

The next time you’re feeling stressed, instead of reaching for a pint of ice cream or a bottle of wine, try doing something creative instead. It might just be the stress-relief method you didn’t know you needed!

So go ahead and let your creativity flow and maybe keep the wine!

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