I am working on the final chapters of my dissertation as I write this. I had focused on self-actualization, stress perception, and creativity. My hypothesis is that creativity can alter both self-actualization and stress perception and thus can influence inflammation in the mind, body, and spirit.
This is the basis for my book. The concept that inflammation or our perception of it can influence us beyond physiological responses is of great interest. But honestly; I find it more interesting to consider how can we bolster against stress and inflammation by cultivating awareness, flexibility, resiliency, and creativity. What would be the outcomes of doing so upon our society?
As I have been analyzing the data, a trend has come forth that I didn't anticipate. I assumed that when asked about creativity; I would have responses about people identifying with gardening, making music, dancing, building things, art, or writing. Instead, there was a greater trend toward individuals considering themselves the most creative when they are thinking about how to solve their own problems or the problems of others. Clearly, this speaks to our true nature as members of humanity. But before the research, I would have never considered thinking about how to handle our or others' problems differently as a source of creativity.
The research is leaving me pondering maybe we reduce inflammation and stress perceptions not necessarily by creatively expressing our reactions, responses, or perceptions but instead by leaning into our humanity and getting closer to helping each other through this human experience.