There is no one-size-fits-all formula for happiness. We each find our own ways to be happy. In order to do that, we express ourselves in different ways—we express ourselves creatively! It is clear then that creativity plays an important role.
Creativity is often described as the ability to generate ideas, products, or experiences that are original, novel, and valuable. However, at its core, creativity is also a means of self-expression. When we create, whether through art, writing, music, or other forms of expression, we are externalizing our inner thoughts, emotions, and ideas. This act of self-expression can be deeply relaxing, allowing us to understand ourselves better and connect with our innermost feelings.
There are studies that show the connection between creativity and happiness. The results consistently suggest that people who are creative are happier than those who are not. Some of the reasons may be because of the following:
1. Creative works can lead you to be “in the zone” or “in the flow”. It’s a state where time seems to stand still, and you are completely absorbed in what you are doing. This has been associated with mindfulness, reduced stress, increased happiness, and improved mental health.
2. Completing a creative project, whether it's a painting, a song, or a piece of writing, can provide a powerful sense of accomplishment. This feeling of achievement boosts self-esteem and contributes to a positive self-image, which is a crucial component of happiness.
3. Creative activities provide a safe outlet for processing and expressing complex emotions. Through art, you can channel your joy, sadness, anger, or confusion, helping you gain clarity and emotional relief.
4. Pursuing creative projects can also promote social connections. Participating in group art classes, joining a band, or sharing your work with others can lead to a sense of belonging and satisfaction.
All four of these make you feel happy, accomplished, and satisfied.
When we do not find meaning in life, we often end up sluggish, feeling dull, bored, and even destructive. Creativity helps us find meaning in life. When we create, we often infuse our work with personal values, beliefs, and aspirations. This inspires our creative efforts so that we know there’s a purpose in what we do. Our purpose gives us happiness.
Creativity also encourages us to ask questions, explore new ideas, and challenge the status quo. It allows us to make sense of the world and our place in it.
If you want to experience real happiness, awaken that creative spirit in you and find your creative outlet. It could be painting, writing, dancing, etc. As you practice your creativity, don’t forget to leave behind perfectionism and negative self-talk.