Written By: DiveThru Team
Reviewed By: Natalie Asayag MSW, LCSW
Written By: DiveThru Team
Reviewed By: Natalie Asayag MSW, LCSW
When we think of creativity, what usually comes to mind? Maybe the image of an artist adding colour to a canvas, a musician strumming their guitar, or a kid building a mansion out of LEGO. Or you might think of the creative geniuses you admire the most, from Albert Einstein to Lady Gaga. Feeling creative can look like so many different things. Whether it’s art, theatre, film, music, science or more, there’s a whooole lot of creativity out there in the world! Seriously though, how can you NOT be inspired?!
Feeling creative allows us to try new things, follow our passions and learn more about ourselves. The sky is really the limit! Getting into a creative headspace can feel like you’re tapping into a whole other part of yourself. A side that gives us fulfillment, happiness and an appreciation for life. All work and no play? Nobody wants that. So let’s dive thru how feeling creative is great for our mental wellbeing!
What does it really mean to feel creative? So glad you asked. APA Dictionary defines creativity as: “n. the ability to produce or develop original work, theories, techniques, or thoughts. A creative individual typically displays originality, imagination, and expressiveness.”
As kids, we had so much freedom to be creative and use our imaginations. We made up silly dance routines to our favourite songs, drew murals on the sidewalk out of chalk, and wrote the wildest stories our little brains could imagine. Now as adults, getting creative might look a bit different. We might put our creative skills to the test when we’re working on a group project for school, or in our jobs. Getting creative isn’t just arts and crafts (but those are fun, too) — it’s coming up with ideas! Making something new! Finding ways to improve our lives and the lives of others! If it sounds thrilling, that’s because it is.
Experts believe that creativity sets people up for success and improves their quality of life. Flexing creativity helps with social skills, managing emotions, problem solving, productivity and resilience. Are we seeing a pattern here?! Getting creative solves everything! Kidding. But it does bring us a lot of good!
When you’re in a creative flow, where you’re so engaged in what you’re doing that the rest of the world seems to melt away, the benefits to your mental health are pretty great! Your brain releases dopamine, the feel-good chemical. You feel motivated, inspired, calm and happy. Your mood is boosted. All in all, you feel amazing! And you’re more likely to repeat this creative activity since you know how much better it makes you feel.
Not only does it just feel good, but practicing creativity is great for coping with mental illness or mental conditions including:
If you’re struggling with mental illness, or know someone in your life who is, try getting creative with them however you like! Maybe suggest a paint night, learning to crochet or songwriting together. Connecting with other people creatively helps us feel inspired and uplifted! So don’t be afraid to reach out to someone with similar interests, join a new group and try new things. Your mental wellness will thank you for it!
Creativity isn’t only great for your mental wellbeing. It has some notable pluses for your physical health, too! Like what?! Well, reduced stress, lower heart rate and a boosted immune system, to name a few. But that’s not all!
Getting creative and practicing cognitive skills throughout your life can help combat degenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. People with chronic illness can also find creative practices to be helpful with managing pain, reducing stress and inflammation. Obviously, the body responds well to a mind that engages in creativity!
All right, now is the time to put that creativity to the test and enjoy this feeling to its fullest! Not sure where to start? Hey, we’ve got you. Here are some easy ways to channel all of that creative energy:
… ok, duh! But our point is, don’t underestimate your creativity or be afraid to try something new. Art has so many forms: there’s painting, drawing, colouring, sculpting, animation and so much more. You could try your hand at some grandma-esque but super calming activities like scrapbooking, knitting, embroidery or calligraphy. There’s also writing songs, poetry, stories. Anddd picking up an instrument, ‘cause why not? Do whatever sparks your interest and creativity!
Everyone gets in a creative rut sometimes. It’s also easy to compare yourself to the creativity of other people and feel discouraged. But look, we’re unique and have different strengths. And that’s okay! When you’re questioning your own creativity, show yourself compassion. Remind yourself: I am creative, imaginative and unique. I do ___ because I love it and it brings me joy. My level of creativity does not define my worth.
Journaling is a great practice for exploring your innermost thoughts and feelings, but you know what else it does? It sparks creativity! Try writing about how you’re feeling, what makes you feel the most creative, and the things that inspire you. Putting these thoughts on paper will help you gain new ideas and some perspective into your creative process. Journaling saves the day, once again!
We can pull a lot of inspiration from the people we know, especially if they like to channel their creativity alongside us! Call up a friend for a brainstorming sesh. Ask them to send you some motivational quotes or their current fave playlist. Meet up for a jam session or to go for a walk. Their presence can be the push you need to make something awesome!
Meditation is a method that’s been used to relieve stress and improve mental clarity since, like… forever. Sometimes, you could use a lil’ extra help focusing when you wanna get creative. This practice allows us to slowww down and shift our mindset. If you’re not sure how to meditate, follow a guided practice to get you started. It’s a game changer, trust us!
Thanks for diving thru feeling creative with us. We hope these strategies help put your creativity in motion! Now go make something great like you’re the next Picasso.