Design a Better Life Through Creativity - Part 3
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Remember that shit-ton of benefits we were talking about?
“Creativity for creativity’s sake… has a profound effect on who we are as people and how we live.” 1
“To sit down each day and work on bringing ideas into existence that might inspire someone (even if it’s only yourself) and that require time, effort, energy, and engagement . . . this is at the heart of what it means to be creative. The work becomes our source of questions, answers, and meaning. It challenges us, causes us to grow, energizes, revitalizes, reveals, and heals. Creativity is our oxygen supply”2
Our oxygen supply?
That’s a pretty big statement. Are we really saying that some mysterious intangible like “creativity” has so many magical qualities and benefits for us that it becomes a source of life [vitality] and happiness? You mean that this funny little tickle I feel inside when I think of picking up a pen to draw, [or writing a few lines, or…] could also be a legit source of life (growth, energy, and meaning) and ultimately happiness?
Is there any truth to that?
Cause if there is, I’m in.
But before we dive into that [Before we dive right into an empty swimming pool together], let’s break down some of these [claimed, supposed] benefits of creativity.
The [Claimed, Supposed] Benefits of Creativity
It improves our mental and physical health.
It increases our productivity
It makes us happier.
Sounds good, right? Is it cool to imagine that improving our mental & physical health and increasing our productivity would make many of us happier? I mean, improving even one of those seems to be a win for most of us [- the kind of win that generally increases happiness].
I’m pretty much in at this point.
But, as always, a good artist [seeks] illustrates an argument with solid math [grounds an argument in solid math/science and fancy formulas], so here’s a creative formula [thought] for you:
good health + more productivity = more happiness.
Creativity Improves our Mind & Body
“Creativity, it turns out, doesn’t just contribute to our happiness but also to our mental and physical health."3 Your creativity and how often you use it affect your mind and body.
Creativity Improves our Mental Health
“Creativity, it turns out, doesn’t just contribute to our happiness but also to our mental and physical health. Expressing ourselves creatively is a form of self-care in many ways.”4
“It gives us the opportunity for self-reflection. And as we build our creative skills, we build confidence. Many therapists even prescribe creative expression to their patients for healing purposes.5
Using your creativity everyday, pursuing seemingly ordinary creative actions/hobbies, like writing, drawing, playing an instrument - anything done with the intention and purpose of flexing your creativity and creating, “both fosters and reflects psychological health.”6
“The science clearly indicates that creativity can serve as a powerful cure for trauma and an aid to our happiness and overall well-being. Whether it’s recovering from the loss of a loved one or the end of a romantic relationship, or just searching for clarity on the next chapter of our lives, creativity can help us become happier and more resilient.”7
Creativity Improves our Physical Health
Stress is a terrible weight on our physical health. And stress reduction is one of the key ways creativity improves our health.
“For instance, in a study called “How Art Changes Your Brain... test how art could affect aging, resulted in:
Normalized heart rate, blood pressure, and cortisol levels”8
Creativity Can Increase Productivity
A feeling of engagement and a sense of progress are two perceptions that aid our productivity. Creativity increases both.
There were more discoveries In the “How Art Changes Your Brain Study.“Their first discovery was that “when people are feeling most deeply and happily engaged in their work, they’re more likely to be creatively productive.”9
The second discovery, known as “the progress principle,” revealed that “the #1 driver of positive inner work life was making progress in meaningful work, even if that progress was a small win.” Every day we make progress in really small ways, but we have a tendency to overlook minor accomplishments because we’re so obsessed with major ones. This skews our perception of our progress. But if we get in the habit of tracking small wins, we can change that perception, build up our momentum, and make progress on our most meaningful work.”10
“An ongoing commitment to our creativity, a daily practice, regardless of what form it takes, enables us to experience progress. When we experience progress, we gain creative momentum and productivity. As a result, we can reach a state called “flow” or “deep work” more readily, which increases our happiness. Our brains are wired to crave this state of flow.11
Creativity improves mental health. It improves physical health.
It improves productivity by providing a sense of engagement and progress.
“Creativity makes us happier and our happiness increases our creativity.”13
So, how does this magical stuff improve our mental and physical health, productivity, and make us happier?
And how do you measure the true value of creativity?
It’s quite simple really…
That’s all amazing and beneficial.
If you’re in, click here to get started.
But if you're ready for the true Value of Creativity, click here.