Creativity is, without doubt, an incredible thing. It has the power to transform our own lives, as well as that of others. And most incredibly, perhaps, it is a gift every single one of us has and does not have to cost a thing to practise. There are many benefits of creativity in both the personal and professional sphere, as well as tremendous health advantages to be gained from actively exercising your creativity on a regular basis.
What is the definition of creativity?
In the simplest possible sense, creativity is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as ‘the use of imagination or original ideas to create something; inventiveness’. The Cambridge English Dictionary has a similar but slightly expanded definition, ‘the ability to produce original and unusual ideas, or to make something new or imaginative’. It is interesting to note the subtle, perhaps imperceptible difference in these two definitions, particularly the reference by Cambridge to the ability to produce original ideas and use them, as opposed to simply the use of them. For this reason, I personally prefer the latter definition – but let’s not get tied up on the details.
What is most important of all is that every single human being is gifted with creativity by virtue of the power of imagination we all have – and every individual’s imagination is unique and unlimited. It is this that makes creativity the wonderful force it is.
What are the benefits of creativity?
The benefits of creativity are wide reaching and it would be near impossible to list all of them in one article. But here are some of the key benefits that will help those in search of life transformation.
1. Creativity encourages self-expression
Learning who we are and how we fit into this world are important aspects of the journey of transformation, and creativity is an excellent way to explore this. Research also shows that people who express themselves tend to be happier and less stressed.
2. Creativity reduces stress and improves wellbeing
The simple act of creating something, even a doodle in the margin of a notebook, has an incredibly stress-relieving effect. In fact, sometimes it is the process rather than the outcome itself that people find most therapeutic.
3. Creativity promotes problem solving and thinking
Whether you are seeking to find new solutions to personal problems or looking to find a way to fly a rocket to mars and back, creativity promotes the ability to see things from new or different perspectives and come up with totally new ideas. Elon Musk would not have been able to do what he has done with Space-X and Tesla without a great deal of creativity.
4. Creativity keeps your brain functioning
According to research published in the American Academy of Neurology, engaging your brain in creative activities could not only protect neurons from dying, but stimulate the growth of new neurons as well. Not only can this help to improve our cognitive ability in general, it can also help to stave off increasingly common problems such as dementia and Alzeimer’s disease as we become older. An article published in the Croatian Medical Journal reports that creative activities can also help the brain recover after illness, injury, or stress.
5. Creativity helps you to connect with others
Humans are social creatures – we need contact with others to thrive and to discover who we really are. One of the main ways that people connect is through common interests, experiences and passions, and creativity is a great way to create those connections.
How can I unlock my creativity?
The beauty of creativity is that it is multi-disciplinary and can be practised and developed through a vast range of mediums. The best way to unlock your creativity is start simple and explore as many different creative activities as you can until you find something that resonates with you. Here are some great creative activities to try if you just don’t know where to start:
- Story Writing / Blog Writing
- Film Making / Vlogging
So, whether you already have a favourite creative pastime or are looking to discover something new, be sure to make time in your busy life for creative pursuits. Both the immediate and long term benefits are potentially life-changing.
What creative pursuits do you enjoy? Let us know in the comments below.