After writing my post about National Colouring Book Day and the benefits this childhood activity can have on us, I wanted to dive in a little more about how being creative can have advantages on our everyday lives. Better yet, you don’t have to pick up a paint brush or colouring pencil to feel the rewards either!

Creativity is deeply-rooted in all of us and can be found in everything that we do.

As creative researcher and consultant Dr. Lynne Levesque states, “While everyone is creative, individuals are not alike in their creativity since there is no one “best” way to be creative.” She combines her research with the psychological types produced by psychologist Carl G. Jung to identify 8 creative talents:

  1. THE ADVENTURER – Improvisational creativity
    Encourages experimentation and clever adaptations based on the five senses and the facts at hand.
    e.g. Artist, photographers, musicians, dancers and sports figures
  2. THE NAVIGATOR – Adaptive creativity
    Pulls in facts and details to build on what others have already done while adding a new twist.
    e.g. Innovative inventors and impressionist painters
  3. THE EXPLORER – Catalytic creativity
    Continually challenges the status quo and generates new ideas and opportunities.
    e.g. Serial entrepreneurs and successful marketers like Walt Disney
  4. THE VISIONARY – Futuristic creativity
    Asks bold questions, sees multiple connections, and provides far-reaching insights into the future.
    e.g. Internet gurus, prophets, and strategists
  5. THE PILOT – Strategic creativity
    Provides designs, strategies and plans to improve an organisation and get things done.
    e.g. Project managers and organisational designers
  6. THE INVENTOR – Fundamental change creativity
    Shifts underlying assumptions and builds models to analyse and provide unusual insights.
    e.g Philosophers and architects
  7. THE DIPLOMAT – Collaborative creativity
    Provides a focus on people issues and fosters a nurturing environment that brings out the team’s creativity.
    e.g. Humanitarians, civil rights activists and caring leaders
  8. THE POET – Thoughtful, counsel creativity
    Encourages reflection, expression of eternal values, and an appreciation for quiet beauty and elegance.
    e.g. Leaders with concerns for the environment and ethics

This model is one example of the many ways that you can be creative, to have original meaningful ideas that you probably didn’t even realise are one of your strengths in the work place or everyday life. Everyone has the capability to be creative, to harness this inventive skill that appears in a wide range of activities and once you do, you will really start to see the benefits on your health and wellbeing.


CREATIVITY HEALS MIND, BODY & SOUL

A paper from Manchester Mental Health on “The importance of creativity for health and wellbeing” outlines the main areas that we all focus on when trying to keep ourselves well and live a healthy life:

  • Feeling able to cope with stress and finding creative solutions to problems
  • Feeling confident, useful and trusting in ourselves
  • Finding ways to be mindful, to relax and enjoy the moment
  • Finding meaning in the world around us
  • Knowing who we are
  • Having hopes and goals in life

‘More and more of life’s… difficulties… are being medicalised. Medicine cannot solve these problems… If health is about adaptation, understanding and acceptance, then the arts may be more potent than anything else medicine has to offer.’ as quoted by Richard Smith, former editor of the British Medical Journal.

As I mentioned some of the benefits of colouring books in my previous post, National Colouring Book Day, it has been shown that creative activities can help tackle many of the above feelings and problems.

  • RELIEVING STRESS
    Creative activities have similar effects as meditation for the brain. Being active with your mind or with your hands allows yourself time to relax and focus on a different task. The American Journal of Public Health mentions that even observing creativity has the same stress relieving attributes, doing something that you find relaxing like listening to music, going to a museum or loosing yourself in a book or game allows your mind to take a metaphorical breath and relax.
    It is all about going through the creative process to achieve a sense of calm.
     
  • BOOSTING CONFIDENCE, SELF-ESTEEM & SENSE OF ACCOMPLISHMENT
    Creating something, whether it be art, baking or decorating a room, realises the “feel good” chemical substance dopamine, a type of adrenaline-like endorphins which acts as the reward chemical, motivating and focusing our productivity.
    Increasing your levels of dopamine in your brain with creative activities, exercise, and meditation has been linked to lessening the movement disorders in Parkinson disease and ward off depression.
     
  • IMPROVING YOUR MOOD
    Amanda Enayati from CNN stated that “Creating helps make people happier, less anxious, more resilient and better equipped to problem-solve in the face of hardship.” Creativity increases your control over emotional pain and depression as you connect with yourself, stimulating your senses to gain a greater understanding, as mentioned in the American Journal of Public Health.
     
  • CREATIVE THINKING STIMULATES BRAIN FUNCTION
    Creating, observing creativity, and doing practical things enhances your problem solving skills and encourages unique ideas and solutions to any given situation – out-of-the-box thinking. Unlike in Maths or much of Science, there is no one correct answer when creating. When engaging your brain in new ideas and concepts, new connections are made between brain cells that stimulates both cerebral hemispheres. The notion that creative people use more of the right side of the brain than the academic left side has been proven wrong, as like I stated in my last post, you need logic and reason to pick a particular colour and creativity and freedom to mix and match them.


NOURISH YOUR NATURAL CREATIVITY 


The moral of this post is to encourage you all to believe in your creative abilities. To nurture activities that bring you peace of mind, to encourage new ways of thinking that will help you tackle life and the obstacles it throws our way, and have confidence in your abilities and yourself. To achieve a meditated peace of mind that is constantly learning and thriving will lead to a healthy life.

Set aside 20 minutes a day or a couple of hours a week to do something that stimulates you and encourages your creative juices to flow, you will be amazed at the results that you will be able to physically see and feel in no time!

“Art is a tool for change”
– Mike White
Senior Research Fellow in Arts and Health at University of Durham

Published by Munro Designs