Why do people create?
There are so many answers to this question, but the underlying theme is that we create because it makes us feel good!
Researchers are continuing to study the effects and benefits of creativity. They are proving what artists have known for centuries, that the pursuit of self-expression is good for our wellbeing. It allows us an opportunity to share, to explore, to experiment, to take risks, to challenge ourselves and to make ourselves feel better.
Here are five benefits that I have found from being creative.
- WE BECOME BETTER PROBLEM SOLVERS
Being creative (in whatever form that takes) involves solving problems. For example, a painter has to find ways to represent a 3D world on a 2D canvas, a gardener needs to creatively find ways to deter creatures from eating his plants, an architect needs to overcome the problem of how his design can be constructed from real materials etc. Obstacles and challenges are part of life and being creative allows us the opportunity to learn new, resourceful ways of solving problems in our artwork and in our daily lives. Art is a safe place for us to experiment, take risks and make mistakes.
- EXPANDED SENSE OF TIME
Have you ever been so involved in doing something that you have been completely unaware of time passing? When we create and are fully engaged in the creativity process, we lose track of time. Psychologists call this “Flow”.
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi defines “flow” as the creative moment when a person is completely involved in an activity for its own sake.
When we are in a state of flow, or in the ‘zone’, time seems limitless and strangely enough it does not take away from anything else, we actually gain time for other things.
- SELF EXPRESSION AND AWARENESS
Creativity is a route to authenticity. As we create we are exploring the depth of our being and accessing what we think and believe. The more we create, the more self-aware we become. We discover and develop our ideas, we respect our inner nature and we are able to better express ourselves. Many forms of creativity do not require verbal communication which means that even those with limited language skills can express themselves through art.
- ENHANCED RELATIONSHIPS
Many people feel that by spending time engaging in their creative pursuits, their relationships and other priorities will suffer. That they will spend so much time following their creative passion, that they won’t want to drag themselves away. People also feel that if they indulge in creative activities, they are being selfish as they should be spending that time working/looking after children/ husband/ doing housework etc. However, this is not the case. When we are actively creating, we feel better about ourselves, and as a result feel better about our relationships and are more generous to others.
- STRESS RELIEF
Making art is meditative. Taking the time to use our hands, minds and energy to participate in something that we love makes us feel good. The worries of our daily lives fade away for a while. We feel happier, calmer and more at peace. Art is FUN, and anything that helps to reduce stress and improve our quality of life has to be good for us.
If you are looking for a way to make creativity more of a priority in your life, The Cr3ative Space offers various workshops that assist with stress management, anxiety relief, creative expression and self-awareness.