Creating Smiles — Why It Matters

Not a singer, writer, or dancer? No problem. Experts say absolutely anyone can be creative, though different people may have different talents. “It really has to do with open-mindedness,” says Dr. Carrie Barron, co-author of “The Creativity Cure,” who says creativity applies to everything from making a meal to generating a business plan.

But whether creativity means whipping up a spinach soufflĂ© or tap-dancing for a Broadway audience, experts say there’s a strong connection between creative expression and overall well-being. Key components of the creative personality, like novelty-seeking and perseverance, are also good predictors of life satisfaction. And it works both ways: People also tend to be most creative when they’re in a good mood, possibly because they don’t fixate on individual pieces of information and are able to think more broadly. And according to creativity researcher Dr. Shelley Carson, “Increases in positive mood broaden attention and allow us to see more possible solutions to creative problems.”

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