Why is it important to be creative?
This month’s blog question from my writing group was more difficult than it first appeared. I know being creative is important to me but I’ve never really questioned it. I could spend forever immersed in my creative worlds and when I’m not painting or writing I’m thinking about the next scene. I know it’s not everyone’s idea of fun, but having an image in your head, trying to replicate it and then watching it grow into something unexpected is rewarding. It wasn’t until I watched my son, who is a prolific drawer, that I realised how art can be used to interpret the world. That’s exactly what he was doing with his pencil sketches. Everything he watched and experienced became art. I hadn’t realised I was doing the same.
I love creating and so do my family so, of course, I’m passionate about it, but there’s plenty of evidence to support the importance of fostering creativity at large; it not only reduces stress but keeps our brains active and healthy as well. In some countries like the UK, health authorities are hoping to prescribe creative activities to delay the symptoms of patients suffering from dementia. Making art activates cognitive functioning, helps improve mood and confidence and often stimulates social interaction.
But why else is it important to think creatively? And how can we all use our minds in a more creative way? In a recent study of 138 postgraduate students in the USA, researchers found that having an open mind and letting all thoughts filter through the brain were conducive to more creative thought patterns. Free associating by letting your mind wander allows the brain’s neurons to spark and connect in different and more creative ways. I don’t know about you, but I think unplugging and letting our brains become more thoughtful sounds like a positive.
I’ve talked about fostering creativity in education by using art in other posts. This is a brave new world we’re entering, where no one really knows how many jobs will become automated and surely creativity is our greatest tool. Now more than ever our children need to let their minds wander to create and adapt to change.
The good news is if you’re feeling the need to fire up your neurons and get creative there are sound ways to stimulate those little grey cells and they’re easy. Go for a walk, reminisce about the past, be curious and my all time favourite BE BORED. Follow this link to get more details.
If you’d like to read more from my fellow writers follow these links: