How Creativity Can Improve Your Mental Health?

Creativity is intricately linked to your mental health! (Photo via Pexels/ Tim Mossholder)
Creativity is intricately linked to your mental health! (Photo via Pexels/ Tim Mossholder)

What is creativity for you? Most people typically associate creativity with artistic stiff like writing, painting, or creating original works. In reality, that is a relatively limited definition.

Creativity, in its most basic sense, is about communication. For instance, it's a medium through which you can engage in storytelling. We all engage in storytelling every day because as human beings, we like to share what is going on in our lives.


There's a very clear connection between mental health and creativity that remains underappreciated. Both spaces (can and should) value brave conversations, adaptability, imperfection, resilience, and a celebration of all the nuances and hues life has to offer.

Learning from one another is a creative act that is best sparked by diversity when gifts and talents are shared, discussed, and valued. There have been a handful of methodologically sound studies to clearly establish the relationship between creativity and mental health.

Creativity and Impact on Mental Health

Like maintaining a balanced diet and regular exercise habits, exercising your imagination is a wellness activity.

We all possess the potential to develop our ability for self-expression and creativity, even if we do not consider ourselves to be artists or creative innovators. On that note, here are a few ways creativity impacts mental health:

1) Engages your 'flow'

Creativity can engage you in flow. (Photo via Pexels/Aleksandr Neplokhov)
Creativity can engage you in flow. (Photo via Pexels/Aleksandr Neplokhov)

Flow is a term you may have heard of; it refers to the state you are in when you're totally engrossed and absorbed in something. Have you ever been engaged in a project where you have entirely lost track of time and yourself? That is flow. It eases tension, improves mood, and decreases heart rate.

Your happiness is aided by more than just being in flow. Knitting, drawing, and writing are all repetitive creative activities that produce results and aid in the activation of flow.

When you accomplish a goal, no matter what it may be, dopamine, the feel-good chemical that truly helps motivate you, floods your brain. Whether or not you're aware of your enhanced happiness, the rush of dopamine you experience after being in flow can motivate you.

2) Improves Mood

The immediate benefit of working on a creative activity is a lift in mood. Artistic expression makes you feel better almost immediately.

Unleashing your creative side can be a gratifying and uplifting approach to changing your daily routine, even if you are not an artist. Self-expression in moderation can help you positively relate to both yourself and your environment.

Long-term mood improvement can also be achieved through artistic endeavors. You can enhance your self-esteem and increase your creative abilities over time by practicing a new dance move or writing every day - the satisfaction of a job well done and a sense of success following you after finishing your endeavor.

3) Reduces Stress and Anxiety

Have you ever become so engrossed in a task that you forget about the passing of time?

You can do your mental health a favor by allowing yourself to fully immerse yourself in a creative endeavor. By allowing yourself to concentrate on the job in front of you, artistic expression can help you feel in control and have a sense of purpose. That can also put worries out of your mind and make you feel more at ease. Your main concern would be the type of paint you choose to use, not the fact that your in-laws would visit next month.

The regions of your brain that handle emotions are activated when you engage in creative endeavors, which helps reduce anxiety. Creating art and music, for instance, can help you engage in emotional harmony. This sense of purpose and fulfillment helps decrease stress and restlessness in all aspects of our lives.

4) Building your Identity

Monotonous work can frustrate us. (Photo via Pexels/Andrea Piacquadio)
Monotonous work can frustrate us. (Photo via Pexels/Andrea Piacquadio)

Regardless of one's level of talent, people who engage in artistic endeavors at least once a day report higher levels of enjoyment than those who do not.

Anyone can engage in creative endeavors; you don’t need to be a talented artist or be exceptionally good at it. "An upward spiral towards well-being and creativity" has been used to explain the relationship between mental health and creativity. When you engage in a creative endeavor, remember that whatever you create won't judge you or place demands on you. Creativity can help build your identity unconditionally.

5) Aids Grieving Process

Expressive writing can help you grieve. (Photo via Pexels/Pixabay)
Expressive writing can help you grieve. (Photo via Pexels/Pixabay)

According to researchers, by using art, someone who has experienced trauma can overcome obstacles and manage their negative emotions. People have the opportunity to convey their thoughts, sentiments, and emotions creatively without using words.

For instance, when looking at a painting, viewers can sort of comprehend what the artist is going through. Writing with emotion also has this benefit. Expressive writing is a technique for expressing oneself via writing.

Writing poetry or keeping a journal are examples of expressive writing. That helps deal with unfortunate situations in life, helping you see the incident more deeply. The act of writing presents a chance for the individual to process a loss.


Creativity is all around us, yet many people think that they are not creative, which is simply not true. Every moment in life you create new experiences and ideas. Having the freedom to do that is part of being mentally healthy. Consider how you can free up time to allow more space for your creativity to flow.

Janvi Kapur is a counselor with a Master's degree in applied psychology with a specialization in clinical psychology.

Edited by Bhargav
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