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Friday, November 9, 2012

Creativity Predicts a Longer Life | Tori Rodriguez, Scientific American

The trait of openness improves health through creativity.

I like this! As a guy who strives to be open-minded and creative in the things I do, I hope there's truth to this article.

Rodriguez reports on the findings of a study published recently in the Journal of Aging and Health:
[O]penness, which measures cognitive flexibility and the willingness to entertain novel ideas, has emerged as a lifelong protective factor. The linchpin seems to be the creativity associated with the personality trait—creative thinking reduces stress and keeps the brain healthy.
According to the study author, Nicholas Turiano, only creativity--and not intelligence or overall openness--decreased the risk of mortality. This study and another one this past January drew connections between creativity and health by studying the way neurons work in different parts of the brain--something way beyond my understanding.

Says Turiano:
Individuals high in creativity maintain the integrity of their neural networks even into old age. ... Keeping the brain healthy may be one of the most important aspects of aging successfully—a fact shown by creative persons living longer in our study.
The ability of creativity people to handle stress also benefits overall health, Turiano said:
Creative people may see stressors more as challenges that they can work to overcome rather than as stressful obstacles they can't overcome.
One more bit of good news from the study: Besides people who are naturally open-minded, people who practice creativity-thinking techniques might improve their health by lowering stress and exercising the brain.
This article is featured today, Oct. 9, in my daily online paper, Garbl's Creativity Connections--available at the Creativity tab above and by free email subscription.

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