Will Creativity Improve Your Life?

Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

Yes. Absolutely. But only if you want something more for yourself.

If you’re looking for the rational explanation of why your life will be better, there are probably a dozen reasons. Research indicates that creativity reduces stress, helps us live longer, and increases our mental well being.

When we take a more creative approach to life, we become better at problem-solving, we become more open-minded, able to see different sides of a situation instead of having a perspective that only allows a black and white assessment.

When we discover new ways to be creative, we are more easily able to live with uncertainty and our thinking becomes more flexible so we’re not afraid of what we don’t know.

Learning how to be more creative helps us find new solutions to old problems by expanding our view of what’s possible.

All this is to say that the quality of our lives improves when we get creative because we find greater meaning and satisfaction and more opportunities to interact with the world in a positive way. Our confidence gets stronger as our fear of failure diminishes.

It is rather odd to citing the rational reasons to live life more creatively because creativity is inherently fun. Fun doesn’t generally appeal to logic, but it does appeal to that part of us that wants to be free and happy, to enjoy life, and stop taking ourselves so seriously. When we’re having fun we can lighten up our thinking, relax, let go of preconceptions, let our world expand and allow ourselves to enjoy surprise and delight in situations where we never thought it was possible.

I’d like to propose the possibility (dare I say fact?) that you are creative by nature, that every act you do is creative and every function that your body carries out is a creative act. This may be an idea you automatically refute, but what if you took it on as an experiment? You could give yourself permission to explore this capacity that we all have, even if you haven’t consciously used it for a very long time.

In more than 30 episodes of my ongoing interview series, Creativity Conversations, I’ve been joined by people from all professions and walks of life who happily assist me in deconstructing the notion that creativity is only for so-called creative types: artists, writers, dancers, singers, performers, scientists. Growing up, we’ve been overly impressed with the so-called creative types because we hear so much about how they constantly seek new ideas or insights to inform their work and enable them to express new possibilities and new connections. But in the process of admiring them, we set ourselves apart and think our own lives have been eclipsed by their accomplishments which results in our passing on the opportunity to let our lives be creative, too.

This is a terrible mistake! Letting yourself be creative in both the big and the small areas of your life would guarantee that your life would be happier, more lighthearted, you’d sleep better and laugh more, be kinder and more generous.

Who doesn’t want that? When our circumstances are particularly challenging, as they have been for many of us recently, we need to give ourselves the space to let go and open up. We need to make room for new possibilities and new ways of seeing our lives for the opportunity that they provide.

When we make space in our minds for a creative idea to come in, we feel an immediate shift in our being. A crack in our everyday armor opens up. If we’ve been feeling restless or bored or boxed into a corner, asking ourselves what else is possible or what else we could do (besides our habitual routine) allows a ray of light to appear to us. No matter where in our lives a creative idea shows up, when we’re the recipient of even a moment of creativity (a fancy word for a new idea), our energy level changes, and our lives suddenly feel larger.

We need inspiration and creativity to keep us from hiding our heads in the sand when trouble appears or when we feel old and lethargic. It’s too easy to give up and sleepwalk through life, numbed and dumbed down by the routine, the ordinary, and the predictable. Or by threats, disruption, or dire predictions about the future.

But our human spirit is more than up to the task! And it will change our lives when we find this out for ourselves.

Photo by Olivia Erlanger on Unsplash

Is there an area of your life that feels stale? If you’re willing to admit it, you also know that a creative perspective isn’t going to come simply from logic or rational thinking. Instead, you can begin to make space in yourself for something besides the usual mental loops that keep playing in your mind.

One way to create that space is by setting aside time to let your mind wander — and let some unexpected thought find you. You can’t force creativity but you can make yourself available (and open). Just do what you do, but with a sense of curiosity. Start with what you already know and check in with your emotions: How does it feel? What else could I do? What else wants to show up here? What would be more fun?

Most of us just want to be doing, doing, doing, and never realize that we need to stop: stop thinking, stop figuring things out, and keeping our minds so preoccupied. When you can allow yourself to just be — you are naturally receptive to the gift of an “aha!” moment that will show you something new and more expansive. And when it does, you’ll wonder what took you so long.

As a personal coach and artist, my great joy is exploring the source of inner freedom that enables us to create directly from our pure potential. To find out more, visit me at ninalockwood.com, LinkedIn or Instagram (@nina.inspired.life).

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Nina Lockwood

Nina Lockwood

Coach/writer/artist. I help others find peace of mind, fulfillment, spiritual understanding and how to live consciously.