artist painting

You Should Find a Creative Outlet

In an article I was recently reading about creativity, it used the term “noncreative” for a category of people. Describing a person as noncreative seemed like a terrible way to label someone. But as I read on, I understood that the author really meant ordinary people, and he wasn’t trying to put them in a negative light. It was just word choice: creative vs. noncreative.

But “noncreative” still didn’t sit right with me. A thought can be noncreative. A job can be noncreative. A particular task can be noncreative. But people are not noncreative. People come up with creative ideas all the time. It’d be hard to get through life without doing so.

Do you ever feel like you’re not creative? The problem isn’t you. It’s what you’re doing with your time. If your typical day-to-day life doesn’t allow for a lot of creativity, you should find a creative outlet.

WHAT IS CREATIVITY ANYWAY?

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Creativity is the use of the imagination

I’m going to be noncreative and give you a textbook definition. Creativity is simply the use of the imagination or original ideas. Usually, the word is applied to some form of art. But creativity can also apply to things like humor, developing a business plan, creating a recipe, even building a criminal empire.

WHY YOU SHOULD FIND A CREATIVE OUTLET

Many people have a set routine in their lives. They work their jobs five days a week, repeating much of the same tasks all day. After work, they may regularly go to the gym, have dinner, watch some television, and go to sleep. When they awake the next morning, they’re back at doing the same.

Does this sound familiar to you? Perhaps you have a job working in a manufacturing facility, answering a phone, or completing other repetitive tasks don’t allow for much in the way of creativity. Is it important to find a creative outlet? Yes, and there are many benefits to doing so.

Relieve Anxiety and Stress With a Creative Outlet

Finding a creative outlet can relieve anxiety and stress. No matter what creative action you take, it will require your focus and attention. Noncreative tasks are often the most weighty parts of your life. Participating in creative activity on the side will allow you to take a mini vacation from the serious matters of your day.

Better Your Health By Means of a Creative Outlet

The amount of stress you are subjected to can directly affect your health. Stress can contribute to high blood pressure, lower immune function, high cholesterol, and heart disease. Taking time away from the stresses of the day or week can help your body repair the damage stress has caused.

old man stressed out
A creative outlet can relieve stress

A creative outlet can also benefit your mental health. Taking the time to learn and be expressive is an investment in yourself and can result in more personal satisfaction. Mastering a new skill can lead to an increase in self-esteem and boost your confidence. Exercising creativity can increase your problem-solving skills and your ability to learn.

Meet Other People Who Share Your Creative Outlet

Not only will you learn to express yourself in new ways, but you’ll have the opportunity to meet new people who are exploring the same creative outlet as you are. Networking with others in this way can result in meaningful relationships. Developing new friendships with people who are passionate about the same things that you are may allow you to connect with others in ways that you never have before.

HOW TO FIND A CREATIVE OUTLET

Not everyone needs to master the piano like Mozart or learn to paint masterpieces like Van Gogh. Creative outlets can be rather simple and still provide the respite you need.

Here are some ideas on how to find the creative outlet best for you:

Consider the Time

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Consider the time your creative outlet will require

You need to estimate the amount of time you have available. You may already be carving time out of other areas in your life. Be realistic. You are probably already very busy and won’t be able to spend many hours each day exploring your new interest. So pick a creative outlet that matches up with the time you have available.

Assess Your Energy Level

You should think about the available energy you have. People are wired differently. Some can work all day and then burn the midnight oil engaging in their creative outlet. When you start exploring a new creative outlet, you’ll probably have a boost of energy, but some of that initial excitement often fades.

Think About Your Family and Friends

You care about your family and friends. Consider your situation before selecting a creative outlet. If you are married and have children, you may not be able to choose the same creative outlet as someone who is single.

Know Your Options

Some know exactly what creative outlet they want to pursue, but many do not. If you’re not sure which single outlet to choose, try to take some of the pressure off by writing down five things you’d like to explore. If can’t then decide on one, think about what skill or display of creativity you respect in others and would like to develop.

Revisit the Old

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Try a past creative outlet again

Sometimes we write off trying to do something again. Maybe when you were a child, you took piano lessons and hated it. Try it as an adult and see how you feel now. Don’t just assume that because you tried something before and were unsuccessful that it’s not an option now.

Here is a list of some ideas for your creative outlet in no particular order:

  • Doodle
  • Paint (artistically. not your house. well, unless you can do that artistically)
  • Play an instrument (some of the easier are piano, bass guitar, ukulele)
  • Mold pottery
  • Create a collage
  • Color
  • Pinterest (design new boards)
  • Write (short stories, a novel, poetry)
  • Journal everyday
  • Dance
  • Imagine and dream of fantastical things
  • Braindump (set a timer and write down all of your thoughts on a subject)
  • Take indirect routes (walk around the building or office. make only right turns)
  • Explore new music and create playlists or mixtapes
  • Photography
  • Cloud watching
  • Imagine uncommon uses for everyday items
  • Dress up in a costume
  • Make bizarre (funny) requests from strangers

SUCCEED AT YOUR CREATIVE OUTLET

Selecting a creative outlet may have been difficult. But cultivating a love for it and sticking with it is probably going to be even harder. You’re going to have to make it a priority. So make a commitment. Put the time on your calendar. Then prepare responses for anyone who may try to rob you of the time you’ve dedicated to your creative outlet, including friends, family, and maybe even your boss.

woman reaches mountaintop
Succeed at your creative outlet

Be sure you’ve designed an environment conducive to engaging in your creative outlet. If you’re learning an instrument, you will probably need some measure of quiet. Clear a proper amount of space if you’re learning to dance. When creating a collage or painting you will probably need a neat workspace and good lighting.

Stay focused on your creative outlet. You’re going to have to learn something new if you want to grow. Don’t allow distractions to sidetrack you. Keep an open mind. Don’t get overly serious or regimented. It’s okay to make mistakes. It’s okay to be terrible at first. Laugh at yourself and do better the next day.

Be proud of what you create. Share it with others. Let them see the investment you’re putting into yourself. But also be okay with criticism. This outlet is for you, not for them. Also, remain modest. If you have a natural talent and receive a lot of praise, accept it with graciousness.

Finding a creative outlet can benefit you in many areas. It’s worth the effort. Don’t keep putting it off. If your first choice doesn’t work out, you can always change it later. Whatever you try, be realistic and give it a good chance to take root. Allow yourself to develop a passion for your newfound interest. Share what you create with others and let your creative outlet benefit them as well. And don’t EVER let anyone label you a noncreative person.

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