When was the last time you launched yourself into a creative project with no inhibitions about the outcome? No one said you had to be van Gogh or Beyoncé to be an artist (although, wouldn't that be nice?). In fact, just doing an artistic activity is enough to put you in a blissful, stress-free state of mind. If you're looking for a way to indulge your creative side (and boost your well-being in the process), give one of these projects a try -- even if you're bad at them, you'll still reap all the benefits.
Sing your heart out at karaoke.
The next time your friends beg you to belt out "Don't Stop Believing" at your local karaoke bar, you might want to appease their requests. Singing releases endorphins in the body (those feel-good chemicals that also come after a good workout) and has been scientifically proven to help with anxiety, lower stress and elevate your mood. Time to start warming up those vocal chords!
Craft a new home project.
There's nothing quite like completing a project. Even if you have an unsteady hand or an untrained eye when it comes to creating something polished (note to self: put down the puffy paint), working on the activity will get you more than just a new door wreath. Crafting can help reduce stress, boost happiness levels and even protect the brain from damage incurred by aging, CNN reported.
Paint an image of your surroundings.
Pablo Picasso once describe painting as "just another way to keep a diary." The point of the project is to express yourself through color -- and when you do that, you're also benefiting your physical and emotional wellness. The art of painting can promote the development of self-concept, help children develop fine motor skills and even improve the brain's ability to integrate creative thinking into something concrete, according to Stanford University.
Try your hand at knitting.
When you begin to weave together intricate patterns through the task of knitting, your brain actually enters a state of flow similar to the one achieved through meditation. This, combined with the stress-relieving properties that come with the simple act of crafting, will have you relaxed in no time (not to mention sporting a new scarf in a few weeks).
Write down your thoughts.
Putting pen to paper can be a powerful, transformational tool -- even if you think you're not good at it. Writing has been proven to help speed emotional healing, aid in better sleep and improve your stress levels. Writing down what you're grateful for can also have help you adopt a more optimistic outlook on life. Better start looking for that notepad!
This GPS Guide is part of a series of posts designed to bring you back to balance when you're feeling off course.
GPS Guides are our way of showing you what has relieved others' stress in the hopes that you will be able to identify solutions that work for you. We all have de-stressing "secret weapons" that we pull out in times of tension or anxiety, whether they be photos that relax us or make us smile, songs that bring us back to our heart, quotes or poems that create a feeling of harmony or meditative exercises that help us find a sense of silence and calm. We encourage you to visit our other GPS Guides here, and share with us your own personal tips for finding peace, balance and tranquility.