Creativity is not a skill that is reserved only to artists or designers. It is a skill that is useful to everybody no matter your profession or age. Developing and nurturing creativity is more important than ever and more and more new researches show how creativity can positively influence all aspects of our lives.
Here are 10 reasons why creativity is important
Creativity is one of the best tools, if not the best, to help you with problem-solving. If your creativity skill is well trained, it will help you find the solutions to the difficult and complex issues you’re facing. If you always find your way out of something, this also means that you’re very flexible and have an easier time adapting to different situations. And since creativity and the ability to find solutions also help you better and quickly recover from difficult situations, in the long run it will also help you build resilience.
More and more jobs are being automated and replaced by machines. So the question is, which jobs will remain for humans? Despite all the big advancements of AI (artificial intelligence), for now humans still have the upper hand when it comes to coming up with novel and creative ideas and solutions. AI is great at identifying the patterns within the data it has been fed, but it is not so great at anticipating changes of a pattern or making connections to unrelated patterns, which are a key aspect of creativity. No matter if or when AI will catch up, the creativity skill is a skill that will help you and be useful to you throughout your whole life.
Positive affectivity indicates how much people experience positive emotions, sensations and sentiments. Turns out that if we engage in creative activities we achieve a higher positive affectivity (PA) and this can lessen depressive symptoms, and ultimately positively influence our mental health. So, if your day is fueled by positive emotions you will develop psychological resources such as optimism, tranquility and life satisfaction.
Those who are creative are usually more open to new and different concepts, ideas and feelings and have a higher imaginativeness and openness to new experiences.
Researchers have found that higher openness predicts a longer life, and in specific it was creativity, and not overall openness or intelligence, that decreased the mortality risk.
Therefore, creativity helps to protect our health and to maintain the integrity of our neural networks, and it can even be of help with dementia in older age.
Another great aspect of spending time doing a creative activity is that it can reduce your cortisol level, a hormone produced when you’re stressed. Besides helping you to reduce stress, engaging in creative activities also helps to reduce anxiety, as it enables us to fully immerse ourselves in the creative task at hand and enter a state of creative flow which positively contributes to our mental health.
Flow: a flow state, also known colloquially as being in the zone, is the mental state in which a person performing some activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity.
When we’re in a flow state we usually forget our surroundings, the passing of time and feel removed from the stressors and worries of our lives, while our body produces dopamine, the “feel-good” hormone which increases happiness.
When you’re creative you give yourself permission to create without being too harsh on yourself and without limiting the work you do. Creative people know the importance of being free of judgement, whether from ourselves or from our peers, in order to come up with innovative and creative ideas. Creative people know that at first, some ideas may sound foolish or impossible but that one thing might lead to something else.
The more you develop your creative skill the more you learn about yourself and to respect and trust your inner self and your ideas, which in return will help to build up and grow your self-esteem.
In our brain we have a task-positive network, which is in action whenever we perform attention-demanding tasks, and also a default network, which is more active when we’re engaged in passive tasks such as self-generated thought, remembering and mind wandering.
When we’re engaging our brain in creative activities we’re engaging our default network and giving the task related network a break. This helps us to refuel our energy for subsequent attention-demanding tasks.
Creativity is not only in high demand because it is a skill difficult to replace, but also because it is one of the main factors that create valuable businesses. In fact, more and more businesses shift their focus on fostering creativity rather than efficiency and cost-saving solutions, as creativity drives business innovation and growth and ultimately value and profit.
When your creativity is well trained, you’re used to connecting the dots between different ideas and concepts. In order to do this, you need to be open and receptive and always on the lookout for possibilities and “what ifs”. This makes you not only a good observer, but it also lets you spot and exploit existing and possible opportunities which others might easily overlook.
If we advanced as a society it is in big part also thanks to the creativity that constantly led us to innovate and make our lives easier and better. Creativity is the ability to use imagination and think outside traditional ways so to create something new. Innovation is putting that in practice.
If we advanced as a society it is in big part also thanks to the creativity that constantly led us to innovate and make our lives easier and better.