Tuesday, December 16, 2014

#107 of a thousand ways to have a happy artist's life; Enjoy Your Art.

"The Secret of Contentment: We Enjoy Our Art" collage by Lani, textures by FlyPaper.
The #107 secret of contentment or having a happy artist's life is to enjoy your art.  Every day, as much as possible.

Want some of the research behind this assertion?  Check out this article (and thank you Gretchen Miller and Art Therapy Alliance for posting it).

Monday, December 08, 2014

#106 of a thousand ways to have a happy artist's life; Try bringing a little affection into your life.

"Bring Color to the World" collage by Lani, textures by FlyPaper.
This morning, while doing my morning pages, I was watching Kory Floyd give a lecture at Stanford (on YouTube).  He was talking about the health benefits of affection or the Importance of Being Prosocial.  It was a fascinating talk that you can see for yourself here.  The gist of it was that basically prosocial behaior, specifically expressing affection has an effect on our health and well being.  His research was for the most part correlational, so we can’t conclude that being affectionate is the only possible cause in these outcomes, however people who score high on expressing affection also scored high in the following areas.

1.  We tend to be happier and have higher self-esteem.
2.  We tend to experience less susceptibility to depression.
3.  We tend to have lower average blood sugar and lower resting blood pressure.
4.  We tend to be more comfortable with closeness and less fearful of intimacy.
5.  We tend to have healthier 24-hour cortisol rhythms (which aid the stress response).
6.  We are less likely to experience loneliness and social isolation.
7.  We have a more positive body image.
8.  We are more likely to be in romantic relationships (and are more satisfied in those relationships).
9.  We have more effective natural killer cells in their immune systems.
10.  We recover more quickly from stressful experiences.

So #106 way to have a happy artist's life is to express your affection when ever you can.  For more Kory Floyd, see his website here.

Sunday, December 07, 2014

#105 of a thousand ways to have a happy artist's life; Use your gifts!

"Always be true to your gift" collage by Lani, textures by FlyPaper.

This post is all about remembering your gifts and using them.  I had been been feeling increasingly weighed down by various events in the US.  And I noticed that my morning pages were getting a little dreary.  Suddenly it came to me that using a sense of humor was one of my resilience strategies, or gifts, so why not add a little laughter to my morning pages?

When life gets difficult, that's the time to pull out your creative gifts and get busy. Your gifts will help you feel resilient and strong. Use them. Always.