How Being Happy Increases Your Creativity
Travel down memory lane and think about the times when you were happiest—you’d find that it was when you were at your creative best–be it while painting a picture, growing your business, or simply working.
In order to be creative, doesn’t really require any extra talent—creativity is just as well associated with making a new dish or designing a new business plan as it is with painting a portrait or making something from nothing.
When you are immersed in doing something creative, you are oblivious to your surroundings and don’t pay attention to the passage of time or even to how tired you are. You pass time in a contented state and this produces immense happiness that lasts quite a while.
It has been found that people tend to be more creative when they feel good about themselves and everything around, and this has been attributed to the fact that when they are in a good mood, they are able to think more broadly than otherwise. This is because they are in a relaxed frame of mind and can direct their energies and attention inward, making sense of all those vague associations that stem from within. This would explain Archimedes’ “Eureka” and also why many good ideas surface during a warm shower.
Thus when people are in a happy mood, it tends to increase their creative abilities as according to Dr. Adam Anderson, assistant professor of psychology at the University of Toronto, having a positive mood affects your attention and literally broadens your visual field.
This has actually been proven many a time when people encountered difficulties solving a problem. The initial reaction of anger and frustration did little to help but when they played themselves into a good mood, the problem became easier to tackle. Anderson’s prescription of getting yourself into a good mood does appear to have a lot of merit.
According to Jung, two systems are involved during the formation of ideas and their execution. While neural connections in the brain – often referred to as the ‘default mode network’ – are used to allow ideas to bounce around and intersect in novel ways, the cognitive control network takes charge when you actually want to implement a new idea. Thus an abstract idea takes shape and evolves into something concrete.
Experts do agree that there is a strong connection between creative expression and overall mental happiness. In fact, studies seem to suggest that creativity may actually be the pill that helps people get over depression. They say that a part of the brain called the amygdala could have a big effect on creativity.
Numerous psychologists and scientists agree and suggest that this part of the brain triggers fear, which subsequently shuts down the creative part of the brain. When you’re happy, the amygdala is quiet and as a result, you are more creative.
In the words of D.W. Winnicott psychoanalyst and creativity expert, “It is creative perception more than anything else that makes the individual feel that life is worth living.”
Creativity and happiness do appear to go hand in hand!