While some people seem to be more “naturally creative” than others, we all have a creative side that we can tap into and explore from time to time, whether in the form of working on writing a great novel, creating art, or even developing a compelling and user-friendly website.
There are many different benefits to creativity, and creative pastimes – both in a personal sense, and also with regards to various professional endeavours. For example, most businesses are well aware that hiring a skilful video production company to help with an ad campaign can result in significantly greater engagement, and more effective communication overall.
All the same, when caught up in the practical concerns and considerations of day-to-day life, it can be difficult to actually make time for getting in touch with, and expressing, your creative side on a regular basis. On certain occasions, it can even seem gratuitous and self-indulgent to do so.
If you find yourself in this situation, and have an intuition that spending time engaging with creative pursuits might be highly beneficial in various different ways, it’s a good idea to find ways to tap into and express your own creativity frequently.
Here are a few reasons to express your creative side on a regular basis.
To reconnect regularly with your deeper and more intuitive side
Most of us have a pretty clear sense that there are both “deeper” and “more superficial” levels to who we are, with the deepest levels of ourselves being related to our most powerful and essential intuitions, our core values, and our sense of connection to something greater.
Engaging in creative pastimes can be an extremely powerful way of reconnecting regularly with your deeper and more intuitive side. Naturally, when you are lost in a creative endeavour, you will likely find yourself feeling as though what you’re expressing is something that’s drawn from a much deeper and more resonant place than the part of yourself that deals with everyday waking concerns.
Whether you’re painting a landscape, writing a novel, or are creating music, any pastime or endeavour that helps to re-establish that sense of deep connection can have the power to reinvigorate your life in all sorts of different ways, and to reawaken your sense of magic and wonder.
Over the course of everyday life – and especially as professional duties and assorted chores pile up – many people find themselves feeling jaded, and as though a lot of the magic and mystery of life has drained away.
Regularly engaging in creative pastimes may be one of the most potent antidotes for this state of being, and can potentially enrich your life dramatically.
To let off steam and provide a counterbalance to the stresses of everyday life
One thing about creative pastimes is that they tend to be deeply rewarding and relaxing – particularly if you are able to really engage deeply with the activity in question, and to experience a sense of deep relief from your usual thoughts and concerns as a result.
Being caught up in a state of habitual stress and frustration is certainly highly detrimental in all sorts of different ways, and can seriously undermine your sense of well-being over time. Nonetheless, some degree of stress and frustration is inevitable over the course of everyday life, and – often – the real question is about how to best mitigate and manage your stress, and come up with effective methods for balance and relaxation.
There are all sorts of generally passive activities that people frequently use in order to help themselves to relax and unwind, such as watching films or TV shows. There are also somewhat more “active” pastimes which nonetheless are based primarily on light entertainment and distraction – such as playing video games.
While there’s nothing wrong with any of these pastimes in the right doses, and on the right occasions, creative pastimes can have particular unique benefits as a means of relaxation and stress management.
For one thing, creative pastimes can, at their best, help to combine relaxation with a sense of meaning, achievement, purpose, and alignment. Unlike the vague feeling of guilt you’re likely to experience after binge watching TV programmes for the entire weekend, engaging in creative pastimes for a prolonged period of time is likely to leave you feeling positive, energised, and optimistic.
To help you to take a break from the thinking mind
Today, virtually all of us are taught at an early age that thinking as much as possible is a good thing, and that there is essentially no such thing as “thinking too much.”
In fact, many issues – whether in society at large, or in the lives of individuals – tend to be automatically assumed to be the result of people not spending enough time thinking before taking action.
While thinking things through is certainly very important, it’s not actually true that there is no such thing as overthinking, or as thinking too much. Various psychological researchers such as Barry Schwartz have found that the phenomenon of “analysis paralysis” is very real, and that when individuals get too caught up in trying to analyse and compare a wide range of different possible choices, they are more likely to remain completely passive and to be overwhelmed by stress.
In order to experience a high degree of personal well-being, and to actually be able to take action in life and to move forward, it’s important to think enough, but not too much.
Engaging in pastimes and activities that help to give us a break from our thinking minds, and to reconnect us with the present moment and with our sense of intuition, can be extremely powerful and rejuvenate.
Many creative pastimes naturally require us to take a step back from our thinking and analytical minds, in order to get more in touch with the way we feel about things at a subtle level instead.
To put you in the mindset of a creator rather than a consumer
For well over a century at this point, social commentators have argued that the increasing prevalence of consumerism and spectator activities has meant that fewer and fewer people are actually engaging in direct, unmediated experience of the world, and are actually stepping into the role of being “creators” rather than just “consumers.”
Today, it’s clearly the case that most of us consume a lot more than we create. We consume all sorts of entertainment media but tend not to create any. We consume all sorts of different foods, but most people don’t grow any of their own. We “consume” sporting events, but sedentary living is common.
There’s nothing wrong with being a “consumer” in and of itself, but there are likely to be many serious issues with only being a consumer.
Regularly engaging in creative pastimes helps to establish a bit more balance in your life by getting you more proactively engaged with the world at large. Instead of simply being a consumer, you become a creator as well, and remind yourself of the importance of having more direct experiences of the world, and of exercising your ability to make and do things.
To potentially open up new avenues to explore in life
Engaging in creative pastimes on a regular basis can open up all sorts of doors of opportunity that you might not even have noticed existed, otherwise.
Getting started as an amateur photographer, and documenting fascinating and beautiful features of your surroundings can lead, down the line, to you discovering a new career, becoming an established online content creator, or helping you to develop a new competency that can significantly improve the course of your current career.
The same general truth holds for all sorts of different creative pastimes as well. Getting started with a casual interest in creating music may end up with you getting a record deal somewhere down the line. Starting to write short stories for fun may end up leading to you becoming a published novelist.
Of course, there’s no guarantee to any of these things, but the point isn’t really that any given creative endeavour will necessarily land you a new career or allow you to “make it big.” The point is just that engaging regularly in creative endeavours can make life a lot more interesting, exciting, and dynamic, by opening up all sorts of new experiences and vistas to you.
To give you regular opportunities to enter into a flow state
In the field of psychology, a “flow state” is seen as a particular state of mind where an individual is so deeply engrossed in a particular activity that their normal sense of time and self fades away.
Musicians, athletes, and all sorts of other individuals can find themselves in flow state on a regular basis – those moments where they are really “in the zone.”
Flow states appear to be deeply beneficial, and seem to contribute enormously to a sense of well-being, meaning, and happiness in life.
Creative pastimes can serve as a great opportunity on a regular basis for you to enter into a state of flow, by truly immersing yourself in the experience, and enjoying all of the richness and beauty of the art of creation.