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Getting Creative for our Mental Wellbeing – Callan Kelly

September 3, 2019

Often when we think about creativity, the first things that come to mind are exceptional artists and scientific discoveries, but this is only a very small part of the picture. Creativity for some people is a style of thinking, or even a way of life, an originality brought to the daily tasks and challenges that we all face. When viewed this way, creativity becomes an essential tool not just for the talented few, but for everyone. It is intrinsically linked with personal development and the evolution of society.

When framed this way, you may begin to see how creativity can be extremely beneficial for one’s health. The practice of originality can enhance both psychological and physical wellbeing. This is a powerful message. Creating something, anything, from scratch, can over time, begin to allow us to know and understand ourselves and the world around us much more deeply.

Many people feel an urge to make and create but will suppress it, especially in adult life, as society tends not to value creativity for creativities sake. Instead we try to ‘manage it out’. Wisdom and experience are undervalued, with a preference for being able to follow commands and complete tasks in a certain manner. While this may, to a degree, be necessary in a corporate workforce, CEO’s are now beginning to understand that creativity is essential to the longevity of any business. Corporate culture is anti-creativity while CEO’s are crying out for it. There is a disconnect.

One of the reasons why creating can be so beneficial to our health is that not only the end product, but also the process of manifesting our thoughts and visions into reality brings great meaning to the creator. As Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow suggested over 30 years ago, creativity may be an integral facet of self-actualisation and personal growth. Allowing children to be creative enables them to view things from a different perspective, again there is a disconnect between the regimented way in which schools teach their curriculum to children and the ever-growing need to be able to implement creative problem solving in the workplace (and throughout life). Even for the older generation, creating can be an incredible tool to keep the mind sharp, continue learning, give a sense of purpose and even as a way of staving off boredom!

In short, it doesn’t matter whether it’s Art, Music, Work, Writing, Cooking, Sport or any other facet of our day to day lives, create something new or take a new approach with something, think outside the box, draw on experience. It doesn’t matter if at first you aren’t overly impressed with what you have created. Persist.

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