Everyday creative activities like writing poetry or making new recipes can boost well-being as well as creativity in young adults, new research has found. “Engaging in creative behaviour leads to increases in well-being the next day, and this increased well-being is likely to facilitate creative activity on the same day,” said lead researcher Tamlin Conner from University of Otago in New Zealand.
In their study, the researchers asked 658 university students to keep a daily diary of their experiences and emotional states over 13 days. After analysing the diaries the researchers found a pattern of the participants feeling more enthusiasm and higher “flourishing” than usual following days when they were more creative. Flourishing is a psychological concept that can be described as increasing positive growth in oneself.
While the current study did not specifically ask the university students to record the nature of their creative activity, the researchers had collected such information informally in an earlier study. They found that the most common examples reported were songwriting; creative writing (poetry, short fiction); knitting and crochet; making new recipes; painting, drawing, and sketching; graphic and digital design; and musical performance.
“Overall, these findings support the emerging emphasis on everyday creativity as a means of cultivating positive psychological functioning,” said the study published in The Journal of Positive Psychology.