Think back to when you were a little kid…I know, I know, its like trying to see a pin prick of light when you’re at the bottom of a well…Now ask yourself, what did you spend most of the day doing? Playing. And what did this play entail? Singing, dancing, writing, hunting for treasure…you remember?
Somewhere along the way, time spent daydreaming and playing became less and less, and time spent doing ‘more important‘ things became more and more. That’s not to say that as adults we don’t still get a good dose of fun, but when is the last time you reveled in the joy of pure creativity?
But you cry, “I just stepped out into the big wide world and its stressful! I ain’t got the time!” Staying on top of new job, maybe trying to establish roots in a new city, just really figuring out life…being a successful professional and person requires a lot of energy, a lot of time, and a lot of worry. Some might say let the creative types in the world be creative and leave me to my conventional life.
Before you proceed ask yourself: Am I often stressed out? Do I have a hard time feeling confident? Does my brain feel like a bowl of pudding?
While there are many causes for disgruntlement and even sadness in everyone’s life, part of it might just be that all work and no play is making Jane a very dull girl. Humans are meant to constantly expand their minds and make a creative contribution to the world in one form or another. For each person this takes on a different form, but the bottom line is that creativity make us much more happy and productive people.
Creativity reduces stress — it redirects focus away from the million responsibilities and worries of everyday life. It gives you a chance to kick up your heels and do something genuinely enjoyable, not just physically but also mentally and emotionally. Creativity gives you confidence — it allows you to make or do something for the sense of pure satisfaction it brings. It gives you a peace of mind and heart that comes from fulfilling passion, and the conviction that you have enough nerve to do something great. Creativity gives you a healthy mind — it forces you to go outside your routine and challenge all those little neurons to make new connections and learn something new.
Challenge: spend one hour a week doing something creative that challenges your imagination. Even if you don’t consider yourself to be a creative person, there is a creative aspect to who you are. Below are a few creative types and suggestions.
- Performer: Act! Community theater anyone? Dance! Ballroom, Latin, Tap, like a crazy person! Tell a story! Read up on some tall tales.
- Musician: Sing! By yourself, in a quartet, in a choir, heck even karaoke. Play! A new instrument, pick up an old one.
- Artists: Write! a poem, a story, in a journal, on a tree. Create! A drawing, painting, sculpture, anything really.
- Academic: Learn! A new language. A new interest. Visit (or listen to)! A lecture, a class, a planetarium, a museum. Tackle! A crossword puzzle, a book.
- Tactile Artist: Cook! Garden! Knit!
And this is just the beginning of creative possibilities. What is your favorite way to play?