The amazing power of creativity
By louiseodriscoll, Jun 23 2014 11:10AM
Some readers may follow my Instagram, Twitter or facebook feeds that regularly feature the themes of whatlightsyouup and whatmakesyouhappy, which follow from an earlier blog about how important it is for our health and wellbeing to identify and enjoy the big and small things in our lives that bring us happiness. It's a crucial element in the work I do when I coach people and one very important group of these sources of happiness can come under the heading of creativity. Immediately I can picture lots of readers now shaking their heads sadly, with 'I'm not at all creative' echoing in their heads...but trust me, everyone has something creative inside them and the wellbeing we can gain from exercising it can be huge. If you struggle with anxiety, depression, stress or emotional eating then finding your own particular form of creativity can be particularly beneficial. To quote the amazing Alice Walker...'Whenever you are creating beauty around you, you are restoring your own soul.'
Whether you are actually any good at whatever creative channel you enjoy doesn't really matter, what is important is that you enjoy it. What are you drawn towards? It could be singing, dancing, cake making, writing, knitting, origami, painting, creating a pinterest board, making up games with children, amateur dramatics, interior design..the list is long! People who participate in creative activities gain the following benefits
- a sense of balance and order, and also of control when elsewhere in life these may be lacking
- creative expression can turn a negative experience or emotion into something positive - think of the amazing paintings, poetry and music produced by broken hearted artists!
- creativity enhances a sense of integrity and personal growth, which contributes to improved self-esteem
- doing something creative can be a way of channelling emotions that we find difficult to process or express. For example, describing in writing what you are going through emotionally can be cathartic and the act of creativity distracts from the intensity of the feelings in the moment, giving them time to pass and be observed more calmly
- creativity can be a way of being mindful, non-defensive and observant, in a similar way to meditation, which is well known for its health benefits
- it is fun, and we can't ever have too much of that!