Six Benefits of Creativity
Everyone is capable of creativity, and everyone can benefit from having a creative practice in their lives! Whatever your skill level is, getting out of your head and using your hands to make something tangible is good for you. Creativity can bring us fun, friendships, self-confidence, and pride in what we made. It grows our imaginations, helps us think outside the box, releases stress, and so much more! I hope this list will motivate you to start a creative practice (if you don’t already have one) so you can enjoy the many benefits of creativity.
What are the benefits of creativity?
1. Creativity allows you to express yourself
It isn’t always easy to put thoughts and feelings into words! Creativity can allow you to express yourself in a free-flowing, unconstrained way. There are no bounds to how you can communicate – through dance, knitting, doodles, sculpture, cooking, poetry – anything you can imagine is possible. This can be incredibly helpful in processing emotions, helping you understand how you feel about anything you’re going through. Creativity can have such a positive impact that art therapy is increasing in popularity as a way to help people cope with challenging situations.
2. Boosts innovation and imagination
Creative projects often involve some problem-solving! If you’re using a new medium you’ll likely learn through experimentation. Or, you might run into issues when you try to paint a subject or landscape you haven’t before. To get your creation to look how you want, you might try unexpected color combinations, use different brushstrokes, or incorporate other mediums into your work of art! These kinds of problems push you to innovate and use your mind in ways you wouldn’t normally.
3. Creativity can bring you like-minded friendships
While you might think of creative pursuits as a solo activity, getting involved in art classes, workshops, and lessons can be an amazing way to connect with others. Having a social network is one of the strongest predictors for overall wellbeing. It positively impacts both physical and mental health. Getting involved in creative communities can bring you like-minded friendships that can make a big impact on your life. By signing up for a fun art class to meet new people, or hosting a paint night to connect with your best friends, you’re supporting your health and happiness!
4. Supports positive mental health
When you finish a creative project – whether it’s painting a beach scene, cooking a delicious meal, or sewing a shirt – you likely feel proud of what you made, confident in your abilities, and excited about what you created!
An artistic accomplishment actually contributes to your body's production of dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin. These feel-good hormones are essential to positive mental health and happiness. Additionally, working on creative projects activates the reward center of the brain. Scientific studies have shown that people who make time for creative projects consistently report higher levels of happiness and satisfaction with their lives. So, when you need a mood boost, picking up a new artistic hobby can help!
5. Helps you relax and release stress
One of my favorite things about getting creative is that it completely occupies my mind. If you’ve ever looked up from a craft project many hours after you started and wondered where all the time went, you know what I mean!
In our busy modern lives, we usually have hundreds of thoughts bouncing around our brains at all times. This can be a huge contributor to feeling stressed. Engaging in a creative task is a great way to quiet your mind by fully absorbing yourself in one activity. This occupied flow state can help you relax and release stress. Many scientific studies support this experience! In fact, in a collection of 37 studies, 81 percent reported a significant reduction of stress in participants, directly due to participating in creative activities.
6. Creating is fun!
One awesome benefit of creating is that it is just a lot of fun! Choosing projects that you enjoy is important for that reason. The options for expressing yourself creatively are truly endless, so keep trying until you find something that you love. If acrylics are challenging and you get frustrated while using them – try watercolors! If you love the creative process and the creations you’re making, you’re much more likely to stick to your creative practice and reap all the benefits of creativity.
Want to incorporate more creativity into your life, but not sure where to start? If you’re a Santa Cruz local or visiting California’s coast anytime soon, book a class and paint with me! Or, join my online creative community for live, interactive Zoom paint nights offered twice monthly.