Did you know that engaging in creative tasks offers a huge range of benefits for your mental and physical wellbeing?
Several studies have demonstrated significant benefits from living a creative life. In fact, in one study reported in the Scientific American, creativity was found to be the only single indicator of a longer life span. Other studies have indicated that creating any kind of art of (whether it’s good or not) can help to decrease anxiety and stress and improve medical outcomes.
Exercising your creative muscle can also be a big help with general problem solving skills too. Studies have demonstrated that people who regularly engage in creative activities are better at problem solving and better able to live with uncertainty. That’s because they are thought to be able to adapt their thinking and looking at problems from a variety of different angles.
Too many of us believe we are not creative, but being creative is simply a part of the human experience. It’s not possible for someone not to be creative. We are born that way. There may be people who haven’t engaged their creativity for a while, and people who don’t have any exceptional natural talent in creativity, but there is no such thing as a person who is born without creativity, or a person who is unable perform creative tasks. Don’t believe me? Get out some paper, some colouring pens and some sequins, grab a glue stick and see what you make.
The key to understanding our creativity is separating the idea of doing creative activities from the need to do creative activities well. As Joseph Chilton Pearce said, “to live a creative life, we need to lose our fear of being wrong.”
Speaker and author Brene Brown often refers to the idea that living as your truest self involves an element of risk. “There is no innovation and creativity without failure. Period.” In our risk-averse, image conscious society, it’s often easier not to be creative, not to try new things and not to make yourself visible and open to judgement. That’s the real reason that many of us think we’re not creative. We gave up trying in case the results weren’t what we wanted.
But what would it feel like if we reclaimed our full creativity and decided to risk and embrace the failures? You don’t need to be the next Picasso, the next John Lennon or the next Matthew Bourne. You just need to be you – the creative you – the WHOLE you.
Give it a go. You’ll reap the benefits.