Why Creativity Improves Mental Health (And How Anyone Can Be Creative)
You might be missing something in your life.
When I was really struggling with me mental health, I was missing one very important thing.
And, as a result I felt tired. I felt completely spent.
Because let's face it, mental health issues like anxiety and depression have a way sapping you of your energy.
It's like forcing the air out a balloon.
The potential is still there, but it's just a said, wimpy remnant of what it could be.
Getting the air back into life is the missing ingredient.
Can you guess what it is?
Creativity and Mental Health - The Missing Link for Positive Change
I write almost every single day at this point.
Whether I follow a more formal structure, like with this newsletter, or a loose outline, like with a poem, I've learned I need to write to be happy.
But writing is not exactly what I'm talking about.
Zoom out a bit, and you'll know what it is.
Got it yet?
It's creativity. The act of being creative.
For me, writing is my lifeblood.
But for you? It might be something else entirely.
Or, if you're like how I was years ago, you may not realize how important creativity truly is in the first place.
"Creativity" is a word that could mean a lot of different things to different people, so let's try to break it down.
And, in some cases, it's helpful to define a word by explaining what it's not.
Creativity is not focusing on problems. It's not dwelling on the past. And it's not worrying about the future.
These are all common responses to mental health issues, but they are responses that don't exist during the creative process.
Because creativity is something that happens in the moment. It's generating a new possibility and seeing it through to its completion.
When you create something, you bring new life into the world. You give form to an idea that, seconds earlier, was a shapeless thought in your mind.
It's the outline of the balloon plus the magic you add that gives the balloon shape.
It's something that is hard to describe, but you most definitely know it when you're part of this thing we call creativity.
Being Creative -How a Fluid Process Creates Structured Growth
I want you to think about any big challenge you've overcome.
Think about how it felt when you were facing down the demon that was this challenge.
It probably felt scary. Or overwhelming. Or energy-zapping.
Am I close?
Now think about how you felt as you started to overcome that challenge, as you pushed life into the void to create a new path forward.
How did your emotions change?
I don't need to guess what you might have felt, because I probably know.
When you create a new path forward, you are being creative whether or not you want to admit it or not.
No fair, Jordan, you used a variation of the word in your definition!, you might be thinking.
You're right I did.
Because that's exactly it.
Being creative is starting with what you have and growing something new from it. It's taking the raw materials and recombining them, over and over, until you give form to something that didn't exist prior.
And there's no such a thing as a person who can't be creative. If you're human, you can create.
And so I want to leave you with a final, inspirational thought about creativity and mental health
Whatever challenge you're currently facing, whether it's a mental health challenge or something else, how can you move through it and emerge stronger on the other side?
You already have the raw materials, the ingredients that will combine to form a new, life-giving elixir.
Because remember, the most important ingredient is you--what you bring to the mix.
Fill the balloon today.
Or pop it and rearrange the pieces. It's up to you.
Once the spark of the idea is there, it's only a matter of time before you use what you have to create the life that you've always wanted.