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A Different Formula for Creating Happiness

A Different Formula for Creating Happiness
In Carlin Flora's "Get Happy" survey last month, the interviewees provided their diverse insightful advices. However, I have a different formula for creating happiness (I hope it is not too late for this year): Doing art works (e.g., paintings, drawing) regularly for self expression, communicating/releasing positive and negative emotions, and/or inspiriting others. I believe this prescription works both for readers and for the culture.

Doing art works does not entail receiving extensive new training in using art materials, it does require we reclaim our innate curiosity about nature and others. We need to restart to focus on and discover beauty in nature and in other people and be less reserved with our creativity.

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In terms of the practice's benefit for the society, there is a consensus that reducing violence or the violent aspect of the culture is a priority. Research has demonstrated that offenders who received art therapy services exhibited a marked change in their behavior and attitude, an improvement in their mood, socialization and problem-solving abilities, and greater cooperation with the staff and their peers. I also dare to claim that politicians who create art works regularly are less likely to wage wars than leaders who cannot appreciate and create beauty.

The teaser image "Bamboo" is one of my paintings. I invite you view some of my other paintings in here (under "attachments" of the webpage) to feel happier.

Key Sun is a psychologist, social worker and a professor of law and justice at Central Washington University.

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