While aging can bring a number of challenging things your way, nothing about the process of getting older should stop you from finding ways to creatively express yourself. Even if you find that your life is changing radically, there will always be some way for you to creatively express your feelings and personality. In fact, if the difficulties of aging seem to be weighing on you, letting out the way you feel through creative pursuits might be just what you need to deal with it and put your mind at ease.
In today’s media climate of online and televised information, it’s all too easy to get caught up in instant gratification and even unintentionally spend all day just consuming things. Flexing your brain muscles and getting in touch with your creative side will restore some balance to your life, as well as keeping your mind engaged and working at full capacity even as you get older and deeper into your twilight years. Creative expression has many benefits beyond the end result of having a finished project. Completing a task, especially a rewarding creative one, will release dopamine in your brain, which is the neurotransmitter that helps cause feelings of happiness. It’s a natural antidepressant too, so any time you’re feeling low, bust out a pen and paper and do a quick sketch or simple poem. Using your brain for creative tasks will also call parts of your brain you don’t normally use daily into action. Creating things will use both hemispheres of your brain, keeping you sharp and warding off any losses of cognitive ability.
Creative activities also have a major advantage that they can usually be done in group settings. So now beyond the inherent benefits you get with just the act of creation, you have suddenly added a valuable layer to your social life. One of the most common problems for seniors, sadly, is loneliness and isolation. By engaging in regular creative activity with a group, perhaps a sewing circle, painting class, or writing workshop, not only will you be getting out your thoughts and feelings, but you’ll make friends and social bonds along the way.
Creating things reduces stress and anxiety as well. When you immerse yourself in a task, you can enter what's called a flow state, being so absorbed in your work that all your stress and worries melt away or fade into the background. If you find your senior years are plagued with bouts of stress or anxiety, diving into arts and crafts might be just what you need.
The older we get, the easier it becomes to let your self-esteem take a tumble. After all, we’re not as young as we used to be, we might find ourselves becoming more reliant on others, and less capable at doing things we once never even considered to be difficult. The good news is that by completing a creative project, you’ll give yourself a shot of confidence. The better you become at it, the better you’ll feel.