A lot of people hesitate when it comes to being creative; they either don’t have time or think that they don’t have the talent. These responses stem from fear of course, and they couldn’t more wrong. If you want to do something badly enough or if your life depended on it, you would find the time… and talent; everyone has some kind of creative talent!
Being creative pays off
I’ll give you some ideas on how to boost creativity in just a minute. But, first some research! Researchers Ebersole & Hess, (1998) created a list of what creative expression can do for you:
- Create balance and order
- Give a sense of control over the external world
- Make something positive out of a loss, bad experience or depression
- Maintain your sense of integrity
- Help resolve conflicts
- Make thoughts and feelings clearer
- Gives a greater sense of well-being and personal growth
- Helps build better relationships.
There are even studies that say that creativity restores willpower. And studies of older people who practice some kind of creative activity found that they stayed healthier longer, it preserved their memory, they took fewer medications, were more outgoing, had higher moral, and were more socially active, less lonely, and more optimistic than those who didn’t.
Ruth Richards, psychology professor at Saybrook University and Harvard Medical School says that engaging in creative behaviors makes us more dynamic, conscious, non-defensive, observant, collaborative and brave.
Brené Brown, who has 23 million views on TED talk and 2 New York Times #1 best-selling books focuses some well-deserved attention on the dangers of unexpressed creativity. As she said in a talk at the World Domination Summit in 2012:
“Unexpressed creativity is not benign. It metastasizes into grief, rage, judgment, sorrow and shame. It becomes destructive.”
So there you have it. Get off the self-judgement ride you’re on and get creative, because its gona rock your world… and probably that of others!
How to be more creative
- Don’t be afraid to be wrong. As adults we develop fear and anxiety about being wrong, failing, and ultimately embarrassing ourselves. All those things kill creativity.
- Always curious. Being curious about everything allows you to consistently pick up tidbits of knowledge. And more knowledge equals making more connections in the brain, which equals more creative ideas!
- Explore more. Experiences are another natural idea influencer. Go on a quest or play a new game, dare to try something new.
- Use your imagination. I know, that’s a big word now days. Everything is handed to us with videos and TV and what not. Just let your imagination go wild for a while.
- Detach yourself from the result. Aim for one yes, because it gives you a goal but if it turns out to be something totally different, go with it!
- Collaborate or browse. You can either find others who are creative and share with them, ask for their help or browse online to give you some ideas of what could be possible for you.
- Have a drink. If all else fails, have a drink. In one study, researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago found that participants whose blood alcohol level was slightly under .08 percent (the legal limit) performed better in a creative task than sober participants. But exceeding that point would likely result in the opposite effect you were hoping for.
So go ahead, reap some of the positive benefits of creativity, you’ll be healthier, happier and more enriched.
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