How to do creativity

A girl is sitting on a red chair

I didn’t think I was creative for the longest time. Even if I spent my infancy stolen from the table at dinner to write “make-belief” stories in my diary, I had some belief in creativity. And in my mind, my drawings or love for science certainly didn’t come in the form of my stick figure. 

Instead, being ‘creative’ meant that lovely artworks flowed easily out of your hand. Or you have spent hours alone sculpting the most complex pieces in the woodshop. Most of all, however, I thought that creativity was about production – you had to do something beautiful to be creative. 

Nor were my convictions unique. Creativity is often mistaken as a skill or a talent in our modern world, something that we can “good” or “bad” in rather than a way of living in the world. But there was no room for failure as an immigrant of the first generation. Instead, the road to success was obvious: Do well at school, get a good job, and then you can enjoy creative hobbies on the sides if you are lucky. 

The Backstory

In my mid-20s, that advice made me feel brandished, anxious and accomplished alongside millions of other millennia. More than 90% of adults today feel burnt, and there is an ever-growing feeling of languishing, especially when we adjust to our post-COVID world. 

Interestingly, many of our modern struggles have an antidote, and it’s not just taking longer. Creativity is, among many other health benefits, one of the only psychological qualities that help us develop meaning, purpose, fulfillment, and joy. And what do you guess? All people hide it in their DNA, regardless of whether or not they believe it. 

How Does Being Creative Work?

David Eagleman has studied how creativity works in the brain for many years. He is linking it to “the cognitive operating software” of our thinking. The co-author of “The Runaway Species: How Human creativity revives the world” Essentially, creativity is in the background all the time as we go through daily lives, and whenever we imagine something new, it lights up in our minds. So whether you decide to take another route or think about ways to stop your telephone scrolling often – your brain practices creativity. 

Are we not persuaded yet? Take it yourself from Dr. Eagleman. “Our biological make-up includes the drive to create [something] new. In the end, creativity is a tool for mental well-being. It’s about things that have never existed before. We don’t have pigs, flames, and goldfish.” And the practice of creativity can improve our mood and our emotional and psychological health until 24 hours. Creativity also has long-term health benefits, such as lower cortisol, higher cognition, and better memory – it’s basically like a superfood for your brain!