Creativity

noun | cre·a·tiv·i·ty |

The state or quality of being creative. The ability to transcend traditional ideas and to create meaningful new ideas.

Many people avoid activities labelled as "creative" using excuses such as "I never liked art" and "I cant draw". Being creative can be a daunting prospect to many people. But creativity is not all about painting, drawing or sculpting. Being creative, as defined above is simply turning new ideas into reality. It can involve art or words or music but can also simply involve thinking about something in a new way, developing new habits or exploring ways of solving the problems faced in life.

Being creative is about perceiving the worlds in new ways and finding links between, and patterns within, the world around us. While perhaps this concept of changing how you think is even more daunting than painting a picture, the best thing about creativity is that there are no rules. No wrong or right, no way in which it should be done, no way to measure whether someone is "better at it" than another person. Being creative is being free. Free from judgement, free to take risks and free to make mistakes.

Allowing ourselves to be creative can positively impact our lives in a number of ways:

  • It increases self-esteem and is a way of self- expression. By creating, we can discover things about
    ourself: our believes, habits, fears and desires. It's
    a way of expressing our feelings to the world in a way
    that may not seem possible with words. By creating
    something we can also feel a sense of accomplishment
    and pride.

  • Being creative helps us to think more flexibly and in more abstract ways which can mean it helps our problem solving abilities. When we feel stuck in a rut and faced with the same problems over and over again thinking in a new way can help us generate solutions to overcome these struggles.

  • Finding creative ways to express emotions, find release from the intensity of some negative emotions we might feel and also distract from difficult feelings can be a huge benefit of learning to be creative. Art activities can feel very therapeutic and relaxing. Things with nice textures can be self-soothing and there is a lot of power in taking time to focus our hands, mind and energy on something we love. Being creative makes us happy once we understands its true value.

From next week Phase is launching a new project called Creative Space. Creative Space will be a fortnightly drop in arts cafe open to anyone aged 13 - 18 who relates in some way to the idea of using unhelpful coping strategies, which may include self-harm or disordered eating. We are doing this because we believe that having opportunities to be creative is a powerful tool for you people to build self-esteem, grow firm in their identity and feel a sense of achievement. We hope that through these sessions young people will develop better ways to deal with their emotions and feel better about themselves as well as having a safe space to come and explore topics surrounding their emotional wellbeing and coping strategies.

Bethany