How to Practice Creativity (Even If You Think You’re Bad at It)
There’s No Such Thing As “Not Being Creative”
For a long time, I didn’t believe I was creative. Although I spent my childhood secretly writing “fictional” stories in my diary at the dinner table, I have some faith in what creativity is (or is not) like. Moreover, in my opinion, it certainly does not appear in the form of my stick figure painting or my love for science. More specifically, “creativity” means that beautiful and artistic paintings can flow out of your hands easily. Or you spend hours alone carving the most complex works in the wooden house. But most importantly, I think creativity is about creative output. You need to do something beautiful. So read this article to learn about how to practice creativity.
“I think creativity is about output. To be creative, you need to do something beautiful. “
In our modern world, most of the time creativity is confused as a skill or talent, something we can “be good at” or “not be good at”, rather than a way to exist in this world. But being first-generation immigrants, there is no room for failure. On the contrary, there is a very clear path to success: study well in school, find a good job, and then, if you are lucky, you can enjoy creative hobbies.
This advice made me feel exhausted, anxious and fulfilled with millions of other millennials in my twenties. Today, more than 90% of adults say they feel burned out, and this emotion of languishing has always existed, especially as we adapt ourselves to the post-COVID-19 era.
Interestingly, many of our modern struggles have an antidote, not just spending more time resting. Creativity is one of the only psychological qualities that help us develop meaning, goals, achievement, and happiness, as well as many other health benefits. Guess what? Believe it or not, it’s hidden in everyone’s DNA.
David Eagleman is a neuroscientist and co-author of “The Runaway Species: How Human Creativity Remakes The World,”. He has been studying the role of creativity in the brain for a long time; He compared it to the “cognitive operating software” of our thoughts. In essence, creativity is constantly running in the background in our daily life. Whenever we imagine new things, they will light up in our brains. So whether you decide to work differently or find a way to stop scrolling frequently on your mobile phone, your brain is practicing creativity.
”Whether you decide to take a different route to work or ponder ways to stop scrolling through your phone so often—your brain is practicing creativity.”
Is it still doubtful for you? From Dr. Eagleman himself. ” The power to create new things is part of our biological composition. We are surrounded by things that have never existed before, but pigs, camels, and goldfish do not. “
In the final analysis, creativity is a tool for mental health. According to a new psychological study published in the Journal of positive psychology, practicing creativity can improve our emotional, mood, and mental health for up to 24 hours. Creativity is also associated with long-term health benefits, such as lower cortisol levels, improved cognition, and better memory. Basically, creativity is like a superfood for the brain!
So how can you inject more creativity into your daily life to overcome burnout and even feel fuller?
1.Redefine definition of “creativity”
As a co-founder of a mental health startup committed to making it easier for people to develop creative habits every day. My personal mission is to redefine how to view creativity in our world. To do this, it is important to distinguish between the two types of creativity.
“To begin practicing creativity for our well-being, we must reimagine our personal definition of it.”
“Big C” creativity is the way we traditionally talk about creativity in the form of output-oriented art or innovation. Then you have the creativity of “little C”, which is essentially the daily moments that shape how you see the world. These are creative thinking practices that appear in the evening neighborhood walk or explore new ways to decorate your home.
But to start practicing creativity for our happiness, we must rethink our personal definition of creativity. Here are some questions for you to think about:
- Has anyone ever told you that you are not creative—implicitly or explicitly?
- How does this affect your ability to participate?
- Or maybe you are the other side of the spectrum. Do you have perfectionism in creativity? What stories can you give up in order to reap its well-being benefits? in order to get happiness?
2. Concentrate on enjoyment rather than success.
Openness to new experiences and ideas is considered to be synonymous with “creativity”. So, how can you manage your life with the mentality of experiencing new things, no matter how small it is?
It may express your creativity by dancing to a new playlist you curated or by playing hide and seek with your new puppy. This may be learning a new skill, such as crochet. But instead of being the best crocheter in the world, can you try to use it only as a tool for relaxation or concentration?
3. Practice It everyday
I am often asked what is the best way to practice “daily creativity”. In essence, this question violates the core quality of creativity! As long as you are trying new things and challenging the old way of thinking, you are practicing your creativity every day.
As long as you’re trying something new and challenging old ways of thinking, you’re practicing everyday creativity.”
But it’s challenging to develop a new habit at first. When we try new things, our brains are trying to develop ways to make the process easier. It feels like a hard battle. But eventually, the new habit becomes easier until it becomes second nature.
To turn “little C creativity ” into daily practice, become mindful and pay attention to how you put them into your agenda. This shouldn’t be what you do once a year on paint and wine date night. Developing small, frequent habits has a better impact on your health than planning an hour of writing, and you never have time to do it.
Here are some ideas (but feel free to be creative!):
- Find a way to reuse an item you usually throw away every week. Try replacing a jar with a vase or cut an old shirt into rags.
- Take a new route to a place you go every day. Maybe it is your favorite coffee shop or on your way to work.
- Keep yourself curious and accept a small new experience every day. Stop and dance to live music in the park, or try a new dinner recipe
4. Share creativity ideas with friends.
Creativity, as a continuous practice of happiness, is not something you need to do alone. Throughout history, many famous artists have been inspired by each other’s works. According to research, creativity can also benefit society and interpersonal relationships when practiced in groups.
Recognize this and encourage your friends to be creative! Let them bring their favorite creative hobbies to the park (maybe some of you like to use clay or write), and then have a creative jam. Although we are all born with creativity, our way of expression is unique. Ask them about their most creative feelings and take notes for their exercises.
“You can’t be bad at being creative; It’s in your DNA. “
The next time you feel like you’re in a rut or simply “leaving”, you may need time to be creative. Remember: you can’t be bad at it; It’s in your DNA.
We would like to hear about your ideas, questions, and suggestions regarding how to practice creativity. So feel free to contact us.