Creativity helps you deal with stress and anxiety
The act of creating something (whether you write a song, bake a cake or build a birdhouse) can help you to use negative feelings and experiences as catalysts to spark innovative ideas or even products. Channel your stress into creating, and it might very well help you find a way out. Creativity helps you:
- Look at things in a different way by thinking outside the box.
- Open your mind to new solutions when you feel stuck: creative people find it easier to reframe obstacles as opportunities, which makes it easier to find solutions and handle stress.
- Find an outlet for your emotions, trauma, thoughts and feelings so you don’t keep it bottled up inside of you.
- Discover your purpose and channel it productively.
- Get to know yourself better by engaging with what makes you tick creatively.
Creativity likes you a little bit tired
Feeling “too tired” to do something creative? It sounds weird, but creativity actually thrives when your head is a bit fuzzy and your energy levels low. Scientists have done loads of research on when we’re at our most creative and why, and one of the more interesting findings is that being exhausted can help you come up with more creative ideas and better solutions to problems. Why? Well, when you’re tired, your brain isn’t as good at filtering out distractions and focusing on one particular task. It’s also less efficient at remembering connections between ideas or concepts. And as it turns out, this is good for creativity, because being creative requires us to make new connections, be open to new ideas and think in new ways.
“Insight problems involve thinking outside the box. This is where susceptibility to “distraction” can be of benefit. At off-peak times we are less focused, and may consider a broader range of information. This wider scope gives us access to more alternatives and diverse interpretations, thus fostering innovation and insight.” – Cindi May, The Scientific American
Creativity keeps you healthy
Just like physical exercise, being creative can have positive health effects. Studies have shown that participants engaged in a creative task experienced a decrease in the levels of the stress hormone cortisol across the board, no matter how creative they were or what task they were engaged in. Seeing your creativity take shape also releases feel-good hormones such as serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine into your bloodstream, which is really good for your mental wellbeing. This is just one reason why art therapy is a good idea – being creative engages and focuses our minds on the tasks at hand, distracting us from feelings of stress and anxiety.
Creativity helps you connect with others
Lady Gaga’s recent One World streaming concert
initiative is a great example of how being creative can connect people from all walks of life and all over the world and help them collectively engage and deal with a traumatic experience: the impacts of COVID-19 on our lives. When times are tough, we usually turn to art to see us through: listening to music, watching movies or TV series, reading books, writing poetry, looking at beautiful art online, making a TikTok video, kicking a new trick shot, perfecting a creative make-up look… Engaging with the products of other people’s creativity can make a massive difference to our mood and wellbeing. So just imagine if you started creating – and sharing your work – as well? It could help you:
- Find your tribe – likeminded people who “get” your work and the message you’re trying to convey.
- Find your future career – perhaps you discover a hidden talent you never realised you had…
- Share the load – strong emotions don’t have to be cooped up inside of you. Channel them to make something and share it with others. You might make a huge difference in someone else’s life when they realise what they’re feeling and experiencing is not unique to them, and that they’re not alone.
Feeling lonely and anxious, or know someone who does? Click below for some helpful mental health tips that can help you deal.
Creativity is an important future skill
Finally, cultivating your unique style of creative thinking is a really valuable skill that will become increasingly important in the future. Being able to think outside of the box, come up with innovative solutions to challenges and find new ways to engage with and communicate to people will help you to thrive in an ever-evolving workplace. You’ll be able to open your mind to new paths out of impossible situations and find ways to use and repurpose your natural skills to help your career grow.
Want to know more about the future skills you’ll need? Check out our take on it here
Fun Fact: napping is good for your brain!
Just in case your parents have been complaining about your sleeping habits… Regular short (not long!) naps may help you with the following:
- Improved memory – napping can help our brains solidify memories
- Better learning - Taking a nap also helps to clear information out of your brain’s temporary storage areas, getting it ready for new information to be absorbed.