The Surprising Benefits of Creative Activity

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I have worked with many very creative clients. I have also worked with clients who, for whatever reason, feel creatively stuck, and are looking for ways to cultivate their ingenuity and imagination.

We all understand something about what makes creativity so important—it’s how great art is made, and how brilliant new ideas emerge in business. It’s how the biggest problems are solved.

Yet it turns out that there’s another, more fundamental reason why creative activity is important. Being creative makes us feel good, and helps build more creativity.

Most of us have felt that good mood that comes when we are caught up in a creative activity, and lately psychologists have been studying this phenomenon in depth. In a recent study, Everyday Creative Activity As a Path to Flourishing, published in The Journal of Positive Psychology, researchers found that spending time on creative tasks seems to be associated with greater feelings of positive well-being. Creative activities by participants in the study included cooking, baking, knitting, performing music and creative writing. “Engaging in creative behavior leads to increases in well-being the next day, and this increased well-being is likely to facilitate creative activity on the same day,” said the study’s lead author, Dr. Tamlin Connor.

Apparently, doing something creative doesn’t only make us feel better, it also creates the conditions that can lead to more creativity. This, in turn, should help us become more productive and fulfilled in our work. This research suggests to me that one solution to feeling creatively stuck is to simply begin making something. It doesn’t have to be a masterpiece, and it doesn’t need to be a work of art, or a brilliant business innovation. Coming holidays provide us with more opportunities than usual for creative activity, whether that’s making a meal, decorating, writing a poem to share or playing an instrument. That means new opportunities for us to flourish.

You can read more about the study in this article.

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