By Donna Gates, as seen on:

When you are overwhelmed and stressed, it is crucial to change your perspective.

Creative play is essential. When we forget the clock and exercise our creativity, the brain actually begins to fire in new ways.

The National Institute on Aging (NIA) and the Society for the Arts in Healthcare (SAH) have both shown through their research that art and creativity nourishes brain health in the elderly.

In other words, not only does creative play enhance the quality of life, but it also impacts the body on a physical level, creating more networks for neurons to fire through.

Children- without even trying, excel at creative play. Since their brains are rapidly developing, this is a good thing. Studies have found that children who are encouraged to exercise their creativity are more flexible and adaptable in their thought.

This makes them good problem solvers.

Creative play gets us outside the current model we use for life and life choices. It opens the roads of possibility.

Creative play widens the mind. It can help you find new solutions to old problems.

When it comes to health, diet and resolving health conditions, many of us go straight to the problem and attempt to fix it. For example, if digestion is poor, we may treat the digestion.

While this may help at first, over the long term many people find that they are just chasing symptoms. We see this in the current health care’s use of pharmaceutical drugs.

Creative play not only promotes a physically healthy brain, it also has the potential to stimulate new solutions to old problems.

Some of the greatest visionaries in human history have said that in order solve a problem or change a situation, you must first step outside of it.

Even though you have responsibilities, you can still nourish your brain and play!

Because many of us have schedules, families, jobs and goals that take priority, we often neglect that need for creative play. However, we do not need to enroll in an art class in order to benefit from creative play.

Small steps that you can take to nourish your brain and engage in creative play:

  • Go for a walk. Maybe choose somewhere you have never been, a street you rarely take. Leave the smart phone at home and resist the urge to look at your watch. Take away any restraints that you normally place on your time.
  • Accept unusual ideas. For a moment at least. Suspend judgments and get excited by what makes us all different and unique.
  • Imagine. It is also a good way to activate centers in the brain that house creative abilities.

When a problem arises, see it as an opportunity to think creatively.

Use creative play in your approach to health and wellness. Be consistent—creative play is as essential as regular exercise and a healthy diet. And have fun!

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