Whether you feel it or not, humans have an innate need to create. It doesn’t need to be about making something beautiful. It’s all about how we cope. If engaging in creativity is about coping, not making beauty, then creating is not only for artist. Since it’s not about an end product, we can all engage in some kind of creativity.
Ever notice the imagination of children? One minute you are in a production of Goldilocks and the three bears, the next you are having a tea party with the Queen, quickly followed by an invasion of pirates. Their creativity is flabbergasting. We were all born with that kind of imagination that ignites stunning creativity. Maybe nursery rhyme productions, pretend tea parties and violent invasions of pirates are no longer in order but we still need to create. Our brains need to be creative. Here’s why.
1) It Develops our Problem Solving Skills
I’m a manual reader. I need to know how it works and how to make it work. I want to follow every step. Give me the formula. But creativity has no manual to follow, no formula and neither does life. When we make creativity a habit, we become resourceful problem solvers in all kinds of situations.
2) It Provides Space in our Head, Reducing Stress
Making something, even if it’s with play dough, is meditative. Meditation clears our minds of jumbled thoughts and gives our brains the space to observe and reflect. Using our hands, minds, energy to create reduces stress and makes space for joy. Remember how much Grandma loved to bake or Dad tinkered in the wood shop or Sister played the piano, each of them was reducing stress and making space for joy through creativity.
3) It Carves out a Judgement-Free Zone
When we create, there is no right or wrong. We live in a right or wrong world and are often questioning if we did it right. When we create, the key is to engage without judgment. The doodle, the journal entry, the experimental soup recipe does not need to be critiqued. We have permission to try new things and strip away the limitations we live under. Creating brings new freedom.
According to psychologist and art therapist, choosing to create something increases positive emotions, lessens depressive symptoms, reduces stress, decreases anxiety, and improves your immune system. We need to create!
I am not artistic. Create always sounded like making something that needed to be framed or printed or delivered to an audience in some way. But when I think of it as a way to cope then I can doodle, strategize in a game of chess, play with kinetic sand, bake a new recipe. None of that needs to be done for an audience. Instead it’s for the sole purpose of opening up space in my brain, connecting me to my own ingenuity and innovation, and releasing me from the confines I seldom notice I’m living under.
Find a way to use your own creative bent and just get started.