Each of us is going through a separate personal struggle right now. It may be in your workplace, family, or school.
I recall the time when I dropped from the 5th position to the 9th position in Secondary School.
I felt bad…I felt let down by myself. I leaned against my desk in class disheartened. And wondered what the heck had happened.
I returned to my hostel and considered what I might have done differently.
I then realized that, as a boarder, I had daily chores before and after classes. And after completing those I frequently get exhausted. As a result, I had very little energy left to study.
So, I decided to set up a schedule for myself.
It wasn’t simple yet it was necessary for success.
To stick to the schedule, I had to develop discipline.
Soon I found myself reading and revising daily
Most importantly, I started jotting down notes from what I read.
These notes were extremely beneficial to me. Since they were written in my words I found them easy to understand and remember.
The more I wrote in my notebook, the more I realize how much I love writing. Sometimes, I would come up with these fun quotations or abbreviations. They were a means to shorten some science laws. It would help me to remember them in exams.
I enjoyed summarising my notes in my own words – in a way that was very simple and understandable.
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Alas! I had unlocked my creative outlet – Writing.
I rose to the 7th position by the end of the next term.
I had moved up to 3rd place. This was at the end of my second year in secondary school.
I wasn’t the best. Nor had I reached the top spot. But I knew I was capable of succeeding.
I felt more assured in myself now.
With discipline, I could accomplish everything I set my mind to.
Having a creative outlet is a great way to stay in balance and improve. It helps you find meaning in the chaos of… And also helps manage anxiety and stress.
What Is A Creative Outlet?
A creative outlet is something you do to focus. It helps you express your creative energy, emotions, and thoughts. Creative outlets usually feel like play and are fun. They have also been found to have vast health benefits.
The World Health Organization released research about the role of art in health and overall well-being. Also, Heather L. Stuckey and Jeremy Nobel explored the connection between art, healing, and Public Health. There are several other research that reveals the importance of having a creative outlet.
Gavin Clayton’s organization (Arts and Minds), for example, observed, through a seven-year study, that the majority of individuals who were experiencing stress, anxiety, and depression found that participating in hobbies (such as painting, sculpture, and printmaking) helped them recover. Participants reported feeling more socially included and 76% reported improved overall well-being. Depression and anxiety symptoms both decreased by 73%.
Many creative outlets are seen as hobbies. But not all creative outlets are hobbies.
Do you need a creative outlet?
Yes, you do. Having a creative outlet gives you room to reflect on your day.
It strengthens social bonds, lowers stress levels, and increases your appreciation of the world around you.
Maybe, you’re like me. You grew up with the misconception that you do not have a creative side. Or that you had to work twice as much as others to get to that part of you.
The older I get, the more I uncover how much of a lie this is.
You have a creative side. You do.
Thousand years of evolution made almost everyone creative at a different level of preference. In fact, creativity is rewarded in our brains because we evolved to do so. A study found that creative epiphanies activate the same reward centers in our brains as addictive substances, delicious foods, or sexual pleasures.
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Examples of Creative Outlets
There are so many examples of creative outlets.
- drawing and sketching,
- oil painting,
- candle making,
- Music making,
- Designing characters
and so many more.
Avoid mounting pressure on yourself. Do what is necessary.
Having a creative outlet is about self-expression. So please, be kind to yourself. Keep in mind that perfection is not the goal.
I love writing. It’s a way for me to express, live, release, vent, create etcetera.
If you’re not drawn to one thing, it’s fine.
Explore and experiment. Try out several things. Trial and error is completely allowed.
There’s no pressure and there’s no rush.
Start softly and grow from something you are drawn to.
Most important, you need to permit yourself to have fun.
When we don’t have internal restrictions about what we must follow, creativity is free to expand.
How do you find your creative outlet?
‘Go with what feels right’.
The following is a list of questions. They will help you to unravel the creative genius in you.
Don’t rush through it. Take your time.
You can write down your answers.
- What do you pay attention to?
- What’s usually on your mind? In other words, what seems to occupy at least 50% of your headspace daily?
- How do you like to express yourself?
- You could start by listing out the spaces and channels that allow you to express yourself with ease.
- What do most people say about your character?
- What do you frequently admire about the people you meet?
- What inspires you the most to become a better version of yourself?
- What issues trigger you the most?
- How do you express gratitude?
- Do you have a certain definition of a creative space?
As you respond to these questions, you will learn what interests you the most.
If you pay attention, you’ll be amazed at the areas of yourself that you discover, areas you hadn’t given much thought or attention to before.
And, if you allow yourself when you do the things that interest you, you will find creativity flowing out of you without much effort, washing away your anxiety, stress, and depression…making you happier.
A freelance creative writer and copywriter who connects and engages readers at an emotional level to understand and proffer solutions to their problems.