Friday, June 11, 2010

Psychologists who study creativity say that
artists and writers often can produce more
new ideas in their sixties or seventies than
in their twenties. One interesting variable
is that the later you take up any creative
pursuit, the more likely you are to pursue
it into old age.

Creative experience may enhance the structure
of the brain itself. Chinese studies of old
people in Shanghai indicate that less educated
people have higher rates of dementia and
Alzheimer’s disease; the implication is that
educated people, having been trained to use
their minds, stimulate healthy brain activity.

PET scans show increased blood flow to
the brain during periods of creative thought;
a distinctive EEG of coherent rhythms across
all bands of brainwave activity is associated
with the “Aha!” or “Eureka!” experience that
characterizes art and creativity in general.

Also, it’s a myth to think that it harms  
the brain to get too wrapped up in mental 
work.   As long as it is enjoyable, concentrated 
mental activity gives rise to alpha-wave 
patterns typical of “restful alertness,” 
the relaxed but aware state also found 
in meditation.

Certain desirable neurotransmitters such as
serotonin also increase during pleasurable
creative activities. The neurological picture
is still debatable, but the real-life results–
more years of fulfilling existence–are not.

It would appear, then, that to want as much
life, creativity, and wisdom as possible is
very desirable. If your expectations in these
areas are low, you are not likely to exceed
them, while setting very high standards makes
every decade worth looking forward to.

Beyond any body of evidence about aging and
how to prevent it, the single most important
factor is that you make something creative
from your existence.
ஜ  Adapted from Ageless Body, Timeless Mind,  
by Deepak Chopra

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