On the occasion of the World Creativity and Innovation Day, let us take out some time to allow our creativity come out from within. As per the definition, creative thinking is the ability to look at situations creatively, in a novel, innovative or newer perspective, and come up with newer ways of handling the situation. But is that all creativity is about? Is it something that needs to be applied only to resolve or tackle problematic situations, or can it actually become a part and parcel of our lives? Does one have to learn to become creative, or do we all have such a streak within us? These are some of the questions to be pondered upon.

Losing our sense of Creativity?

Often some of us think we may not be as creative as others. However, what we forget is that each and every one of us has an inherent capacity to look all things from a different perspective, and to try things out of the box. And all it takes is giving ourselves the freedom to spend one extra minute on trying and being experimental. As I sat down to pen this blog, I got thinking of the possible impact of today’s lifestyle choices on the ebbing away of our creative side of the society as a whole. With such an involvement in our mundane routines, struggling to meet deadlines, racing against time, maybe we don’t get the time to give our ingenuity a fair chance. To add to all of which, most of us find ourselves stuck in the rut of competing with others, be it professionally, socially or even personally, and this in itself takes away the opportunity to be able to cherish our own individuality. Most of our lives, both at work and at home, is caught up between timelines, delegations, approvals, targets, etc. Finally, even when we might get the breathing space to explore an alternative option, a lot of us would be urged to go with the tried-and-tested conventional approach, maybe due to a fear of the possible negative consequences. With the increasingly technology saturated world, which encourages automation and mechanisation, we forget that the same resources could also be utilized in many alternative and more creative approaches. Further, many of us are not even able to spare the time and energy to invest in the possible avenues of innovation and novelty.

Being creative helps improve psychological well-being

The relationship between creativity and psychological well-being has been established, as the very process of putting in efforts towards something new or different is meaningful in itself. Further, such innovative endeavours encourage originality of thinking as well as believing, and consequently help the individual in attaining a sense of accomplishment and achievement.

Making an effort to extend one’s faculties beyond the existing boundaries, is not just a process of exploring within oneself and the world around, but also serves as a source of meaningful engagement. Through our creative efforts, we can acquire and cultivate our own skill set. At the same time, they can help us in discovering our emotions, and shaping an identity for ourselves. Finally, it also encourages the individual’s curiosity, which helps in the overall personality growth and development of the individual.

In addition, creative means of expression could be in the form of art, sculpture, music, dance, movement, martial arts, writing, or any other such outlet. Besides offering an avenue which encourages the freedom of expression in a safe and secure environment, such forms of creative expression based work also serves as a therapeutic approach. Such therapeutic expressions help in the healing and catharsis, further aiding an individual’s recovery from both physical and mental illnesses. Therefore, creativity is not just a cure, as it helps in the management of distress, but is also a well-established pathway to psychological well-being. Especially in today’s world, most of us are so caught up in the challenges of living that we tend to become very fixed to think of things and objects in one particular way exclusively, and forget to look at other alternatives. But sometimes when we’re in a difficult situation, the ability to think of things in a different way from how we’ve been taught can really help us solve problems.

Integrating creativity within our daily lives

While decision making requires us to think about goals and what is good and bad for us, creative thinking is about looking at how many different ways in which things can be explored at the same time. Rather than always asking ‘why’, sometimes ask ‘why not’.

For instance, it is common to be told to join an art class, as we hear that creativity happens only in our art class, but all the most original and exciting inventions have been created by thinkers outside of classrooms. If you were to sit back and think of some of the simplest but now most useful inventions, from a time when people could only travel by road, to when someone thought of the wheel, to when someone decided that even we can fly! There can be no new findings and no progress, without creativity.

To be a creative thinker means to not be scared about what other people will think of your ideas, and have the strength to talk about them and share them anyway. It is about trying and testing new ways of looking at situations, and doing things that we thought were not possible. It is not simply in the form of certain activities to be integrated within our lives; however it is a form of thinking, or rather questioning. Therefore, do not hesitate to let go of yourself, and do not throttle your creative energies within yourself. Allow yourself to break the previously laid down methodologies, and begin to enjoy each moment to the fullest!