By Matt Fuchs, July 12, 2021 | Updated yesterday at 2:29 p.m. EDT
If you’re interested in staying healthy as you age — and living longer — you might want to add a different set of muscles to your workout routine: your creative ones.
Ongoing research suggests that creativity may be key to healthy aging.
Studies show that participating in activities such as singing, theater performance and visual artistry could support the well-being of older adults, and that creativity, which is related to the personality trait of openness, can lead to greater longevity. When researchers talk about creativity, they aren’t limiting it to the arts.
Author and Georgetown University psychiatrist Norman Rosenthal defines being creative as “having the ability to make unexpected connections, either to see commonplace things in new ways — or unusual things that escape the attention of others — and realize their importance.”
Presumably, the process of creativity, whatever it is, is essentially the same in all its branches and varieties, so that the evolution of a new art form, a new gadget, a new scientific principle, all involve common factors. We are most interested in the “creation” of a new scientific principle or a new application of an old one, but we can be general here.”