As a child you loved it—making something out of anything.
Whatever the medium, you were all over it and had a blast. Being creative came naturally to you.
But lately, you haven’t found the time and inspiration to engage in any new creative projects. Sure, you still want to do crafts, paint, write, practice photography, (insert yours here), but life gets in the way.
You’ve read blog posts, articles, or books, you got up early or stayed up late to make time for your project. You partnered with that artsy friend who always works on something new.
Now you’re starting to think you should postpone your creative endeavors until you’re less busy/older/financially stable…
But wait! You can (and should) embrace creativity during every life season because it has many wonderful benefits you don’t want to miss out on.
Creative Energy Wants to Be Used
Each of us has an innate creative energy waiting to be expressed. Kids do it all the time. When they play, make crafts, or tell stories, every movement oozes creativity.
But at some point we start trading creative expression for fitting in and achieving academic results.
Then, other priorities take over: college, work, starting a family… While trying to manage all that, creativity becomes a rare luxury for most of us, and we tell ourselves we’re fine with it.
Over time, we realize we’re not. We yearn to start a project, to do something apart from fulfilling our day-to-day chores and responsibilities. Yet it feels like the time isn’t right because there are seemingly more important things on the agenda.
Then we see people show off their latest project on social media and we wonder if we’ll ever have the time and opportunity to do something like that. Often the answer is “probably not.” Chances are, this thought has crossed your mind and made you feel like you’re missing out.
“I wish I could be doing this too” is always at the front of your mind.
This is a sign that your creative energy wants to be manifested!
Negative Consequences of Ignoring Your Creativity
Not using your creativity can have some real, negative impacts on your life, relationships, and even health.
By not expressing your creativity, you hide a part of your true self. Over time this can make you upset, bitter, and even judgmental of people you see doing the very thing you long for.
Ever judged that friend who made time for an art class when you really wanted to? Or criticized someone for work you wanted to be doing too?
On the flipside, if you regularly take time to work on a project that challenges your brain in unfamiliar ways, you’ll likely see beautiful changes in many areas of your life.
Being creative gives you the chance to embrace your inner self like nothing else. By experiencing that, you open yourself up to joy and a sense of purpose that will spill over into your relationships and family life and transform your mindset to one of positivity and empowerment.
Your Brain Needs a Chance to Play
In an age of endless workdays and constant stress, we need a chance to unwind.
Think of primary school kids. The first thing they do when classes are over is run out the door in complete abandon. Your brain wants to do the same after a long day.
And while watching TV or scrolling through social media might sound calming, it doesn’t relax your brain. The quickly moving images and the blue-light screens can reduce the quality of rest you’re getting and even make it hard to fall asleep.
If you’re looking for an activity that will both help you chill out and stimulate your brain in a fun, entertaining way, a creative project is the way to go.
Creativity Makes Growth Fun and Easy
The first things you might think of when you hear the word “creativity” are painting, writing, or making crafts. But creativity has a myriad of other facets.
You just need to find what you enjoy most. And the only way to do that is to try a variety of things. This approach reflects the essence of creativity. Why? Because trial and error are a vital part of the creative process.
Think about it: Every painter goes back several times to change parts of their work. Every writer edits, cuts, and rearranges their texts. Every choreographer tries different combinations of moves before deciding on the final sequence.
This is when you try a photography workshop, a tap class, or a cooking course for the first time. And who knows, you might be surprised by which activity you like best and which one you’ll skip in the future.
Being Creative Comes Naturally to Us
If you haven’t worked on a creative project in a while (or ever), this might come as a surprise to you. Thinking of starting something new will feel daunting especially if inspiration is lacking. But think about it, mankind has had to be creative to survive in this world since the very first days of existence. Sure, that creativity didn’t involve watercolors or graphic design but rather finding ways to thrive in changing surroundings and developing new tools to make that easier. Nonetheless, it’s still a form of creativity.
Today, many of us have the privilege of living in a place where we can focus our creative energy on enjoyable things like drawing, crafts, or writing. Too often we don’t though.
Training Your Creative Muscle
Since we all have the gift of imagination and can learn to tap into it by practicing regularly, the hardest part is getting started. Once you take that first step and get over some inevitable bumps, your mind will open and develop in a wonderful new way.
Not only will it become easier to start (and finish) projects, many new ideas will come your way too. And suddenly your long-lost friend inspiration will be a regular companion again.
You’ll also become more adventurous to try things in other areas of life. A new recipe? A new family activity? Maybe even an innovative idea for solving a long-standing problem at your job?
The Time is Now
Your creativity and inspiration are waiting to be expressed. Grab a pen, paintbrush, or whatever equipment you need and get started.
Because today is the best day to start sharing your creative gifts with the world.
– Written by Juliana Hahn
This article first appeared on TinyBuddah.com