It feels like a lot of us seem to easily get swept up in the hustle and bustle of daily life. It’s a cliche notion that we seem to be too busy focused on getting the grades we want, earning money, paying the bills, worrying about our futures. Creativity seems to be despised. It seems to be associated with having free time and/or laziness. It’s almost like there’s a stigma against being creative- that if you are, you’re a bludger or a bit loopy and not in sync with reality. News flash for those who do think that- it’s not true. Far from it. Yes, there’s a stereotype connected to writers, artists and the like- then again, there’s a stereotype for everything.
Having a creative outlet is essential. Plain and simple. As humans with working minds, we need to have an outlet where our creative juices should be allowed to flow. We’re so wound up in regimented routines and are working off pent up stress and litres of caffeine that it would more than likely negatively impact our mental and physical health. Creativity has its benefits and they far outweigh the costs. There’s surely a creative path for everyone and before you say it, yes, you do have creative abilities. You have an imagination- use it. You don’t have to be the best, you just have to make a start and do whatever helps you achieve your goals.
Here’s a list of reasons as to why you should get yourself a creative outlet:
Reduces stress and provides an escape:
In a sense, creative outlets allow you to practice mindfulness. Mindfulness is often a designated method of dealing with stress and anxiety suggested by psychologists and other mental health experts. It allows you to remain in the present moment without getting overly worked up about the what ifs and what could have beens. Moreover, it provides an escape from reality without being “out of sync with reality”. Most creatives in fact are often more in sync with reality than anyone else. They use their experiences and turn it into forms of art- whether through music, dance, words or drawings (to name a few). Those of us who do have problems with anxiety have the trouble of focusing too much on what is happening in our own reality that it causes us to freak out. It’s more common than many people likely think it is. Hence, being creative allows us an escape from whatever is troubling us and takes us to another world where we can either cope with our worries through creative means or just get our mind off the problems altogether. It really depends on the person. Having a creative outlet can be incredibly relaxing as a result.
Thinking outside the box:
Being creative allows you to think in ways you usually don’t. It allows you to become a better problem solver in different situations, giving you the chance to think outside the box rather than just focusing on a linear response. You’re able to see things differently and from different perspectives and as a result, you’re able to adapt to a greater number of situations than those who don’t work creatively.
You learn about others and yourself:
In many creative outlets, you tend to do far more observing and research- especially about the way humans are. You learn about different types of people and why they think the way they think. You learn about their perspectives and it not only makes you a better creator, but also a more understanding person. This has definitely been something that has happened with me through writing, and I credit writing for being able to broaden my sense of observation and judgement when meeting new people. When it comes to learning about yourself, creativity allows you to see your own potential and learn things that you might not have known if you hadn’t explored that avenue through whatever outlet you have. You become more aware and empathetic to your surroundings and the people in it. Additionally, there have been countless stories of people who manage to ‘find themselves’ again after being stuck in an unpleasant situation thanks to their creative outlet.When you find yourself and perhaps even find your sense of purpose, everything just seems so much better to put it bluntly. Your mood increases, your stress and anxiety decrease and you allow people to get a better insight into who you are as a person.
You keep your mind sharp and it fights ageing:
Scientifically speaking, apparently getting creative helps fight dementia. That’s always a bonus. When you’re creating something, your mind stays sharp when it focuses on getting what you want done. From the rather quick research I’ve conducted, basically creativity helps you fight things like Alzheimers, dementia and other sort of cognitive dysfunctions because it keeps the brain health and stimulates new brain connections (I feel like I’m in year 12 psychology all over again). It also keeps you engaged with others, which, particularly with the older generations, has shown to have numerous benefits. Moreover, creativity= sustainability. You’re more likely to keep going with an arts program in comparison to an exercise program.
Now, I’m probably going to get people telling me that they’re not creative and that they disagree with this sort of thing because not everyone is made to be artistic or whatever. My response to that would be that there are so many different kinds of creative outlets that there’s probably one suitable for you. Creativity isn’t just about painting and drawing- there’s so much more to it. It’s all about just giving it a go and seeing what’s right for you. Step outside your comfort zone and see what’s out there. You never know what you might come across and you don’t know if you don’t try.