Whether it's painting a mural, writing poetry or making a floral arrangement, experts and patients agree: the creative process can reduce stress levels, boost self-esteem and change outlooks. Read on for some ideas to tap into your creativity.
1. Rethink your definitions.
Being creative isn’t just about art. “You’re also creative when you garden, participate in a book club or work as a volunteer,” says Karmeen Kulkarni, M.S., R.D.
2. Forget talent and focus on interest.
“You don’t need major talent. Just do something you enjoy,” Kulkarni says. For instance, even changing the way you organize your closet can be a creative process.
3. Focus on the activity, not the result.
When you do something creative, the process is what’s important, not the product. Accept that the results may seem imperfect to you or others, and simply enjoy what you’re doing.
4. Commit a regular time to creative pursuits.
Allot an hour every day or once a week to ensure you follow through.
5. Enlist others as your muses.
Take an art class or join a knitting club. Sharing your passions with others can inspire you.
6. Shake up your routine.
Make small changes in your daily drill to prod you to think in new ways.
7. Think like a child.
Small children are naturally creative in whatever they do. “Watch how they are with freedom and laughter,” says clinical social worker Wendy Satin-Rapaport, Psy.D. Strive to be childlike-uninhibited, natural and funny.
8. Take a class.
Look for adult education classes, museum lectures or college courses where you can learn something new.
9. Look for humor.
“Laughter gives you a fresh and humorous perspective on life,” Satin-Rapaport says. Watch a funny movie. Spend time with people who make you smile.
10. Make life an artful adventure.
When you’re going through a challenge or difficult time, channel your creativity to get through it. Journal about a challenge, improvise a skit about a frustrating situation, or make up song lyrics to describe your feelings about a particularly bad day.
Following a creative passion can be both relaxing and rejuvenating at the same time. “Stepping back and stepping away can provide a new perspective and power up your energy level,” says Satin-Rapaport. “Creativity shows you different possibilities and can inspire optimism.”