I was looking up information related to being mindful, creativity and how it all relates to our mental health. When I stumbled upon an article related to the literary and video work of Ms Elizabeth Gilbert.
Ms Elizabeth Gilbert has been promoting how to be creative and how to do it if you have mental health issues.
It seems that I’m not the only artist in the world that struggles with wanting to be creative and how hard it can be due to life circumstances. There seem to be more artists out there that struggle with the urge to create and opposing forces from outside as well as from their own negative emotions. Artists have to fight negative influence and consequences from outside forces as well as fighting their own negativity related to their creative efforts.
Ok, so if I’m not alone in all this. Why doesn’t knowing this make it any easier? That’s because only another artist will understand how other artists feel and think and then it’s only every individual that know’s the level of anguish they each go through. One person’s level of confidence and motivation might not match any other person’s…
Every individual needs different motivational techniques and prompts in order to continue working on their artwork. One person’s strategies might not work for other people. Every person’s fears and barriers that keep them from achieving their artistic goals may be different. Their reasons for whether or not they are able to overcome their fear’s and barriers will all be different too.
Ms Gilbert explains ways to push forward through bad mental issues to continue being creative. Pursuing creative endeavours is believed by many to encourage happiness. So what is it about creativity that stimulates the brain in ways that helps make us happy?
Repetitive manufacture of fulfilling creative art/craft work is believed to arbitrate depression and anxiety by stimulating the “accumbens-striatial-cortical” connection in the brain. This is based on a theory made by psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi named “flow,” when a person “experiences complete concentration and absorption.” (Cathy Malchiodi, 2011)
This complete concentration is compared closely to meditation and yoga, which helps shut out any negative unwanted thoughts and emotions. These are the main reasons why art and creativity are closely linked to happiness and relaxation. There are many theories as to how and why creativity helps stimulate happiness, studies are being completed as more scientists want to delve into exactly how it helps create positivity.
We all need more positivity and happiness in our lives. How great it would be to harness our inner creativity to help manipulate ourselves to create more positive emotions, rather then having to be dependant on medications and other outside sources. Better to harness our energy towards positive, creative processes, then to allow ourselves to be consumed by negative, harmful thoughts and emotions.
For more information on exactly how art and craft help make you happy, and how to utilise them as self-therapy, post your interest and I will let you know when my upcoming E-Book comes out;“Beating The Blues: Beat Depression/Bipolar & Find Happiness with Art/Craft”.
Online article by Douglas Eby (M.A./Psychology), CreativeLife Newsletter, “On fear and creativity and mental health”, 2016, http://talentdevelop.com/2344/elizabeth-gilbert-on-fear-and-creativity-and-mental-health/
John S. Allen, Apr 29, 2010, “Creativity, the brain, and evolution”, https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/lives-the-brain/201004/creativity-the-brain-and-evolution
Scott Barry Kaufman, August 19, 2013, online article “The Real Neuroscience of Creativity”
Susan Scutti, Jan 4, 2016, “Emotion And Creativity: Jazz Improvisation Of Happiness Activates Different Brain Networks Than Sadness”, http://www.medicaldaily.com/emotion-and-creativity-jazz-improvisation-happiness-activates-different-brain-367718
Online article by dunekahnshillan, October 31, 2013, “A Summary of the Interaction Between Creativity, Personality, and Happiness.” https://dunekahnshillan.wordpress.com/2013/10/31/a-summary-of-the-interaction-between-creativity-personality-and-happiness/
Cathy Malchiodi, Sep 27, 2011, https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/arts-and-health/201109/art-and-happiness