What does creativity offer us? Does one have to be a creative genius to reap the benefits of creativity or can we all profit?
A recent study (Conner, DeYoung and Silvia 2018) examined the relationship between daily creative activity and people’s emotional experiences. Participants kept daily diaries of their creative activity, which included documentation of not only artistic actions (painting, music, writing, etc.), but also the generation of novel ideas and the expression of oneself in original ways.
The researchers found that increased creativity led to increased well-being. Those who engaged in creative activity felt more enthusiasm and “flourishing” afterwards.
Previous studies have shown that positive emotions can influence creativity, but this study highlights a different cause and effect: how creativity can create greater energy and excitement as well as feelings of calm, contentment and relaxation on the days following creative activity.
The positive effects of daily creativity were found regardless of personality. In other words, everyone can benefit from creative activity – you don’t need to have a certain artistic temperament or style to begin with.
So go ahead, give yourself permission to get to know your brand of creativity. Even in the form of mundane daily experiences, creative actions can contribute to positive psychological functioning.
Creativity in Action:
Viewing artists as “children who survived,” London-based Ukrainian artist, Olya Dobrovolska, teaches children the basic notions of creativity. She helps children express their emotions through art and simply have fun with it. Check out her playful and imaginative work: http://www.dobrovolska-art.com
DanceSyndrome in northwest UK invites people of all abilities and disabilities to express themselves through dance. Those who have attended DanceSyndrome’s inclusive and supportive workshops report improved mental and physical health afterwards, feeling happier and more connected to others. The learning-disabled dance leaders have inspired hundreds since 2009 through their performances and classes. http://dancesyndrome.co.uk