Creativity and Well-being

Embrace the power of creativity and say hello to a healthier you

In the hustle and bustle of modern life, taking care of our mental and emotional well-being often takes a backseat, which can also have a detrimental impact on our physical health. For many of us the focus is on "what do I need to do next and am I ready for tomorrow".

We don't have time to look at the bigger picture. However, amidst the chaos, there exists a powerful tool that can significantly enhance our overall wellness: creativity. Whether through painting, writing, cooking, or any other form of artistic expression, engaging regularly in creative activities can have profound effects on our mental health, well-being and happiness and in removing negative emotions.

Cooking is a form of creative expression which can support our well-being.

Until I began writing, I hadn't really thought about creativity for personal well-being. But with serious family issues and coping with a number of changes at work, I began to doubt my own capabilities and quite serendipitously turned to a creative writing class for escape. That turned out to be the start of something new and exciting and lead to my debut novel, Broken Pieces of Tomorrow.

Then five years later in 2020, during lockdown and the ongoing restrictions of the Covid-19 pandemic, the positive relationship between creative arts and wellbeing outcomes helped me stay buoyant, positive and happy in what was a difficult and scary time for so many of us. I wrote every day, not worrying too much whether what I was writing made sense or would be deemed good enough to publish. Two years later that writing brought my third book into the world, Alexander and Maria, and it received a nomination for the RSL Ondaatje Prize 2021. It was a magnificent moment for me.

Writing every day showed me how when we immerse ourselves fully in a creative endeavour, our focus shifts away from the pressures of everyday life, allowing us to enter a state of flow where time seems to stand still and we connect with our hearts and minds to a moment in time. This meditative-like state not only reduces stress levels but also promotes relaxation and a sense of calm.

How many times have you found yourself saying, I'll take five minutes with a cup of tea, and before you know it you're still sitting there half an hour later with your mind drifting somewhere beautiful and your cares falling away.

Even daydreaming is arguably a creative process which can have a positive effect on our wellbeing and can create positive emotions.

Daydreaming with a cup of tea

Engaging in creative activities triggers the release of dopamine, commonly known as the "feel-good" neurotransmitter. This surge of dopamine can elevate our mood, leaving us feeling happier and more content. Who doesn't want to feel that everyday? Whether it's writing a poem, strumming a guitar, or doodling in a sketchbook, tapping into our creative side can provide an instant mood boost.

Creativity offers us a unique opportunity for self-expression. Through artistic mediums, we can explore our thoughts, feelings, and experiences in a safe and constructive way. There is no right or wrong way to doodle, to decorate a cake or dance in the kitchen. This process of self-expression is about experimentation and feeling good about what we're doing. It fosters self-awareness and helps us gain insights into our own emotions and inner workings by allowing us a way to let go and to trust what comes through the enjoyment of a new pursuit. It is not about how good you are, or the end result, it is more about the journey and the time related to creativity and less about the creative achievement though, of course, finding that you're good at something new is satisfying too. 

Accomplishing creative tasks, whether big or small, can significantly boost our self-confidence. As we see our ideas come to life and we witness our progress over time, we develop a sense of competence and mastery. This newfound confidence can spill over into other areas of our lives, empowering us to tackle challenges with greater resilience and determination. Aspects of our lives that may once have felt too overwhelming can suddenly become manageable, which in turn, contributes again to life satisfaction.

How many times have you heard a writer talk about how their characters took them down a different path, creating a whole new plot? This is because free-flow writing connects us to our most inner thoughts and creates a calm, non-judgemental environment to create in. When I read back over some of my free-flow writing I am positively amazed at what I have written. When we are working unchecked and letting the flow and rhythm of what we are doing lead us, we can produce our best more authentic creative works. Creativity encourages us to be present in the moment, fully immersed in the creative process. This mindfulness practice not only enhances our ability to focus and concentrate but also cultivates a deeper appreciation for the beauty and wonder of the world around us.

Losing yourself in a moment... mindfulness practises.

Incorporating creativity into our daily routine doesn't require special skills or talents; it simply involves making time for activities that bring us joy and fulfilment. It is about prioritising those moments when we can let go of responsibilities and lose ourselves in the calm of creativity. Whether it's painting a picture, writing in a journal, or experimenting with a new recipe, the key is to prioritise self-expression and allow ourselves the freedom to explore without judgment or expectations. 

So, why not make a commitment to nurture your creative side today? By embracing the power of creativity, you'll not only enrich your life with beauty and meaning but also take a significant step towards becoming a happier, healthier version of yourself. Say hello to a healthier you by unleashing your creativity and discovering the profound benefits it has to offer.

I hope you have enjoyed today's post and I invite you to try something new and not only enjoy the journey but celebrate the time out from your daily living and a happier, healthier you.

With love and best wishes, Soulla x