A creative mind is a happy mind. Researchers have found that among other things, creativity increases job satisfaction, creates more positive emotions and augments the overall well being of a person. Henceforth, it should come as no surprise that people that are creative are happier than those that are not.
To attest to it, think about the times when you’ve been your most crafty. You know, that time you whipped up those pancakes from scratch or when you came up with that really cool hack to save you time in the morning before work. Chances are, you look back at those moments with fondness. That is because creativity often comes from a positive place: love, impulse or even curiosity.
All in all, people highly enjoy the process of being creative. Our history is full of artists, philosophers and mad geniuses whose ideas were so groundbreaking that they seem novel even today. However, lately it seems that the world has lost that creative edge.
We live in a time where anything mainstream pretty much looks and sounds the same: the people standing next to you as you wait to cross the street are all wearing the same style of clothing, the song playing on the radio sounds exactly like the last one you just heard, you look around the subway platform and notice that everyone owns the same cell phone. From music to fashion to the gadgets we use, it is as if there are no new ideas anymore. And the shocking part is, that most of us are O.K. with that. Many of us have become complacent with living our lives without creativity. Researchers have even coined a term for it: creative bias.
Creative bias refers to the fact that people want to be creative, yet reject creative ideas when they have them. Sound familiar? It should, because we have all been guilty of this at one time or another. How many times have you thought about trying a new activity, for instance, yet brushed it off because you thought it would be implausible? Or how often have you wanted to try a new hairstyle, even, but decided against it because you thought it would look ridiculous? We put so much restraint on our own thoughts, that we disregard any possibility of originality. It is as if we are afraid of the stigma that comes from thinking outside the box.
However, as much as we may try to suppress it, creativity has a need to be expressed. We are all creative. Creativity is as much a part of being human as breathing is. The real challenge is in learning to apply creativity to our everyday lives.
Creativity is said to come from the right hemisphere: the same side of the brain that is associated with images, emotions, color, music, expression and intuition. That is why musicians, artists and writers are often described as creative. Even so, you do not have to be the next Frida Khalo nor even have a page on Etsy to be considered creative. Creativity is not just about making collages and writing sonnets, it’s about creating ideas! PsychologyToday defines creativity as the ability to generate new ideas, new connections between ideas and new ways to solve problems. In order to do this you have to open your mind to a new way of thinking.
So next time you have a kooky idea- embrace it! Allow yourself to take a different cognitive approach to a given situation. Take inspiration from your environment, the people around you. Let go of the mental hurdles you place on yourself and let the prospect of creativity sharpen your skills and abilities. Let it boost your resilience and satisfaction with life. Quiet the negative thoughts and let your creative mind flow!