Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Iowa Writing Coach: Why We Feel Better When We Create

Science Tells Us Why Creating Feels Good

It turns out that science may help explain why creative types feel better when we draw, write, paint, sing, or make a movie. Robert Gitchell, a retired orthopaedic surgeon, writes in a recent University of Iowa publication that when people engage in creative activities, “they change the production of interleukins, the cytokines that play an important role in the function of the immune system, enhancing beneficial cytokines and reducing those related to stress.” In fact, manmade cytokine injections are actually used to boost the immune system, and a certain type of interleukin is used in treating certain cancers, says Gitchell.

In other words, taking time to create something makes good stuff go on inside your body. So what’s keeping us from writing that shaky first draft or making that ugly painting? Apparently it doesn’t even have to be good on the outside in order to feel good inside.

1 comment:

Lauri said...

Really interesting! Thanks for the link to the main study and for posting this.