Wellness Toolbox

Creativity

What is creativity?

Creativity is any act or activity where you use your brain to think of or imagine something new, even if it is something that is new to just you. Simply put, a creative act is something that you can define yourself. It can be almost anything you can imagine, a solution to a problem, or a doodle on a piece of scratch paper, a work of art, a bit of poetry, a meal, some writing, a drawing, a product, or even just an idea. Creativity is essential to living a wellness lifestyle.

Being creative is good for your health. Studies show that engaging in creative activities improves your overall health and actually makes you happier. Being creative also helps to decrease feelings of depression and loneliness. It can improve your quality of sleep, and it can boost your morale, and your self-confidence.

Creative Things to Do

Remember, engaging in creative activities should be something that you enjoy. It isn't supposed to feel like a chore or work. Once you find just one or two creative activities or exercises that you enjoy, you will be on your way to boosting your creative energies, and you will discover new ways of engaging in creativity. Because creativity can involve almost anything—remember, it is basically just about you doing something new—it can be almost anything you can imagine. Here are just a few basic ideas to get you started.

Write Something

Sit down with a piece of paper and a pen. Think of a topic, what you ate today, how you feel, what the weather is like, your favorite color, places you like to go, the last good movie you saw, the best book you ever read...anything.

Now, start writing. Just write. Put down whatever comes to your mind. You are being creative when you're doing this. You're taking your thoughts and actually turning them into words on paper, so you're making something new. As you start writing, you'll find that you're thinking of even more new things...you're being creative!!

Draw a Picture

Take a pen and paper and just draw a picture. It can be a picture of anything. When you do this, you're taking the visual memories of your brain and translating these into something that someone else can see. You're making something new by drawing the picture, and you're being creative.

Make Music

There can be joy in creating beautiful music or the fun of making up songs to sing to yourself or for family or friends. You can also sing with a group, play an instrument, or make your own. Almost anything can become a sort of instrument if you experiment — pencils can be drumsticks and a box can be a drum.

Make Something or Bake Something

Think of something that you might want to make like a sandwich with new ingredients. Whenever you make something, whether an art project or even a meal, you are being creative if what you do involves doing something that's new to you.

Rest, Relax, Reflect

Another thing you can do to enhance your creative muscles is to take time to reflect and relax. At the end of each day, think back about what you did and the feelings you had. Were you surprised by anything? Did you learn or discover something new during the day? If you did, did you find it interesting? What new things popped into your brain because of your new experiences and discoveries during the day? Thinking about things like this involves being creative.    

Close your eyes for few minutes and take a few deep slow breaths. As you relax, try to think about something that makes you feel peaceful, or happy, or sad, or excited. What comes into your mind?  Now try and think about other things that make you feel that same way. When you do this, you're making new connections inside of your own thoughts, and you're being creative.

Get in Touch with Your Feelings

Another way to exercise your creative muscles is by thinking about your feelings. Sit down and think about three times you felt happy in the last month. Did these times have anything in common? Were they completely different?

What about three times when you felt sad? Or peaceful? Or angry? Or three things you love about your best friend or companion or spouse?

When you do exercises like this and think about your feelings and how your experiences from one day are related to your experiences from another day, you're making new connections among your own life events, and you're being creative.