CREATIVE TRAINING KIT
Digital tools and tips for Youth Workers active in creative and cultural areas
Why should you organize creative activities?
Participating in creative activities can have many positive outcomes for the children and teenagers’ well being. Indeed, the visual arts, such as drawing and painting, appear to have particular benefit in lowering stress and increasing psychological resilience. One study found that images of art actually activate reward-related regions of the brain. Coloring has also been proven to promote relaxation and better sleep.
It isn’t just the visual arts that provide benefits. A study found that music engagement, visual arts therapy, movement-based creative expression, and expressive writing all had positive effects on health and promote healing. Music was shown to calm neural activity in the brain which may reduce anxiety and increased immunity. Art gives us a way to express ourselves in ways words cannot. Movement-based creative expression such as dance has physical as well as psychological benefits, including word recall and increased self-esteem. Expressive writing (journaling deep thoughts, feelings, and emotions) has been shown to reduce depression and lessen pain severity.
Finally, it appears that creatively working with our hands in projects, also boosts happiness by way of decreasing stress, relieving anxiety, and modifying depression. The repetitive routine allows our minds to rest and may help us to enter a “flow”state in which we become fully absorbed in a task, losing track of time. Hungarian psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, one of the founders of positive psychology, studied this flow state and discovered higher self-esteem, engagement, and greater long-term happiness as a result of being in flow.
All very good reasons why it is crucial to organize creative activities for our youngsters’ well-being. The list of benefits is long and we are sure that you have experienced many as youth trainers. One not to forget is that our future is very much in need of creative thinkers and creators who can tackle the many challenges awaiting us. Thus, we hope you will find some inspiration in this kit to organize new creative activities in your organizations.