Benefit of being more creative
How are you doing? Having a creative week? Do you feel particularly creative and have many ligh bulb moments, whether it is in making something or thinking a little differently about a problem?
Maybe you do, but many don't.
There is a lot of useful information out there about the benefits of being creative, so I'm going to try and wrap some of it up. Even if you apply it to just making things, like arts & crafts, you will find that by exercising those creative muscles of yours, you will start to think a little differently, in a good way. A little quote below to get things started....
So, what is creativity?
“The use of imagination or original ideas to make something; inventiveness.” - Oxford Dictionary
You see, creativity can be channelled, honed, expressed in tonnes of different ways, not just on a canvas or through arts and crafts. It could be through a board game, party planning, coming up with solutions to a business problem.
I had the perception for years that being creative involves painting a masterpiece, like Van Gogh, or writing and performing a song. Both of which I felt I couldn’t do, so it felt like my creativity was kind of just locked in a box or didn't even exist. I used it a little in sports I played, but that was about it. I’ve grown to realise creativity just needs an outlet that works for you, like lots of things. Sure, practice will make you more confident and comfortable with your creative output, but just doing it is fun if you embrace it.
Even now, when I think of creativity, I think of painters and musicians, rather than architects, interior designers, warehouse managers, founders, accountants and all the other people who need to be creative regularly and may not realise they are creative. Being more creative is a superpower that can positively impact your life and business.
Everyone is creative, just many choose to not explore, express or appreciate it, for a variety of reasons, so it goes down the pecking order of priorities and / or the benefits aren’t felt. Hopefully that perspective may change - read on!
It’s also worth noting that creativity involves two processes: thinking, then producing. If you have ideas, but don’t act on them, you are imaginative, but not creative.
To paraphrase a Picasso quote (back to the painters!) “Creativity [Art] washes from the soul the dust of everyday life.” That’s great and something that I now see more and more. When you think creatively about something, it allows you to take a step back, look at the issue for what it really is and think of better solutions to it or indeed the processing of making something makes you forget about irrelevant things and be more in the moment.
One more definition...
What is mindfulness?
“the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.” - Oxford Dictionary
Meditation, exercise, walking through a forest, spending an afternoon painting, being creative, even just doodling are all ways of helping you get into a state of mindfulness.
Who wouldn't want a little more of that every day?
How can being more creative help you?
Don't forget - you are creative, it is in you just bursting to come out.
1. It helps you think better
Experiments have shown that being creative, which can trigger mindfulness, boosts your general creativity as it can enhance your ability for divergent thinking — a thought process or method used to generate creative ideas by exploring many possible solutions. But, many of the qualities associated with convergent thinking are also enhanced by mindfulness. Convergent thinking is basically the opposite of divergent thinking. It generally means the ability to give the “correct” answer to standard questions that do not require significant creativity. For instance, in most tasks in school and on standardized multiple-choice tests for intelligence. Quiz time! So it helps with both.
2. Feeling of Pride
"I did that, yeah, me”. I love this about being creative. It’s really nice spending an hour or more creating something, and then et voila. It’s done, it’s there, something that reflects your inner creativity and personality. An expression of you. It feels very empowering and never gets old.
3. Reduced stress, anxiety and mood disturbance
In The Connection Between Art, Healing, And Public Health — a Review of Current Literature (2010) it is concluded that “the studies included in our review appear to indicate that creative engagement can decrease anxiety, stress and mood disturbances.”
In another study Everyday Creative Activity as a Path to Flourishing, it concluded that engaging in a creative activity just once a day lead to a more positive state of mind. A creative activity can be simple, don’t worry. You may be doing it regularly already —nice! It could be doodling in a journal, crafting, playing a guitar, redesigning your kitchen, business planning. These are things everyone can do! Just acknowledging the creative things you already do can give you a boost - so think back. When I think back to some of the jobs I had, I can now acknowledge I was a little more creative than I realised.
Back to the study. The results surprised the researcher Conner, who didn’t think the findings would be so definitive. Conner said...
“Research often yields complex, murky, or weak findings”.“But, these patterns were strong and straightforward: Doing creative things today predicts improvements in well-being tomorrow. Full stop.”
4. Become a better problem solver
Short and sweet here. You can become a little more resourceful and creative with figuring things out, much like you need to be when creating something. Part of this comes from having more confidence to think creatively, as you will naturally think harder and come up with more possible solutions to problems, rather than latching onto the first 2 you think of. When you keep this in mind, it is incredibly important. There are so many times very quick decisions are made on big challenges, without really looking for all possible solutions, then assessing each one and deciding on the one that increases the chances of success.
5. Self awareness and Expression
Dabbling in being creative produces an output, which is basically an expression of you — even if you don’t think it is! Over time and with a little practice, you can feel a lot more able to express yourself as you become more comfortable in yourself and the different techniques that you are drawn to.
6. Expanded sense of time
Time slows a little in the sense that your thoughts slow and it’s easier to stay focused on the task in hand and feel a little more present. This can be referred to as being in the flow. It’s really great.
Ever feel like your weeks are just absolutely flying by and you don’t know how and what you’ve done? Slowing that right down can really help, trying some arts and crafts, for example, can help with that. I think having such easy access to technology means are brains are constantly whirring, but not necessarily about the right things.
How can I be creative?
If you feel you are never creative, that’s fine. Maybe try it once this month and make a mental note how you feel after. Try something you can quickly do like an adult colouring book, doodling, painting by numbers. Do that a couple of times in the next few months, then maybe try more often… you may end up doing it daily — but don’t put pressure on yourself to do that from the outset. Small, incremental changes can become habit.
From a creative thinking perspective. Think back to times where you were creative. This will give you a confidence boost to do it more often when you are looking at challenges in life and business. There is always option a, b and c - but what about option Z?
Next time you have a challenge you need to overcome, write down 10 possible solutions to it, you'll be surprised with what you come up with, I have no doubt.
Start with someone else
I always find a bit of peer pressure helps. Keeps you in check. Get a friend or colleague who you think would equally benefit from doing this, explain the reasoning and get them on board — they don’t have to do it with you, it’s fine to do it solo, but at the least they can check in to see how it went -> increasing the chances of you doing it!
Try making something for each other or teasing out a life or business problem together.
So, that's a very quick summary of some benefits of being creative.
Creative Jungle Company can help you get creative with the below, drop us an e-mail if you would like to find out more too.
Sam & Diana
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