December 11, 2020
We are all creative beings. We were created with purpose and with our own individual qualities that make us unique, which means we are all creative in our own ways. We might express our creativity in paintings, music, photography, drawing, journaling, cooking, or dancing. However, not expressing that creativity is doing a disservice to yourself. There are endless benefits of taking time out of your day to express your creativity. Having a creative outlet helps you deal with anxiety and stress, gives you a sense of purpose, and helps make space to overcome obstacles.
We all have stress, but it’s what you do with that stress that matters. Everybody turns to something different in stress and anxiety, so what if you turned to a creative outlet in a time of stress? Creativity has proven to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. Forbes states, “…Writing helps people manage their negative emotions in a productive way, and painting or drawing helps people express trauma or experiences that they find too difficult to put into words” (Stahl, 2018).
Taking time out of your day to focus on something that makes you excited and happy can completely turn around your mental health. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter in your brain that determines how you feel pleasure. There is a direct relationship between creativity and dopamine. As you increase the amount of time spent creating, your brain will increase the amount of dopamine it produces. According to Forbes, “Whether or not you’re aware of your increased happiness, the hit of dopamine you get after being in flow will drive and influence you toward similar behavior” (Stahl, 2018).
Everybody is looking for a sense of purpose in their lives, because we all want to feel like we have something to strive towards. Tony Wagner says, “Imagining and creating give us a sense of purpose” (Enayati, 2012). You will fill your purpose gap in your life with something, whether it’s money, sports, or clothing, but you also have the choice to fill it with something more important. Art + Marketing states, “It [creativity] makes what we do matter, and it means the things we make matter too. When held proudly, it attracts the people with a passion for what we stand for — clients and colleagues alike — who will create with us” (Bennett, 2017).
When we think of Albert Einstein, we often think of a creative genius. Did you know Einstein is thought of having developed his theory of relativity while riding his bike (Chappel)? We can have some of the most important breakthroughs when we are partaking in a creative outlet. Sometimes it takes our brain to get completely disconnected from the problem or task to learn how to overcome it. If you learn how to actively carve out time in your day to participate in creative outlets, you never know the kind of ideas you can come up with!
It is vital to take time out of your day to indulge in creative outlets because there are so many physical, mental, and emotional benefits of it. It allows you to spend some time by yourself or with others so you can refocus. Take up photography, blogging, watercoloring, scrapbooking, graphic design, videography, or anything that makes you feel creative! Go out there and create or cultivate, rather than consume!
Written by: Kaitlyn Skarstein
Kaitlyn loves being able to write for the SA blog because she thinks it is important to share her voice. She loves being able to express her own opinions on important subjects that are relevant for students, faculty, and many others.