Creativity. It’s a word that adults either love or run away from, claim for themselves or deny the very existence of.

Creativity is a characteristic prized in children. Did you ever create forts with sheets and a kitchen table, or play cops and robbers, house, or act out a TV show? Creativity is fun!

Children use their creativity to open up their minds, to learn and to enjoy themselves. Creativity is as basic and natural as breathing, and as useful as intellect.

Children create constantly, both with their hands and with their minds. They can look at a paperclip and imagine hundreds of uses, see dragons in the clouds, or invent invisible cars that fly.

But as people get older, the push for creativity diminishes. Creativity is often relegated to drawing, making music, or writing. People who don’t consider themselves artistic may falsely believe that they are not creative.

But creativity is much more than art. It is a part of nearly everything we do. And the more the creative brain is used, the stronger it becomes.

The belief that some people are not creative is false. Creativity is everywhere. When an executive leads her company in a new direction, that’s creativity. When a teacher finds a better way to explain a mathematical concept, that’s creativity as well.

Creativity is the force that propels people forward, that allows an object or idea to come out of a place where there was nothing before. To create is to grow and change. Creativity is about culture and learning and problem solving.

Simply put, creativity is vital to life. 

For people who struggle with mental illness, creativity can be a lifeline.  Men and women who are able to consider new ways of thinking or behaving can improve their lives. Therapists who try different modes of treatment, or seek innovative ways of understanding a problem, have an edge over therapists who are not able to branch off and think creatively.

Men and women who are able to harness their creativity find themselves with an ever-growing treasure trove of ideas and solutions. What is a better way to learn how to ride a bike? How can I use my skills to get a higher paying job? How can I save more money? How can I make a difference in the world?

There are many  benefits of engaging in creative thinking. Here are just a few of them.

Creative thinking:

  • Improves problem-solving
  • Helps people think ‘outside the box’
  • Increases playfulness
  • Makes life more enjoyable
  • Allows for self-expression
  • Improves life
  • Encourages discovery and growth.

One of the keys to harnessing creativity is to let go of your expectations. If you allow yourself to explore seemingly ridiculous ideas, you may find that those ideas are radical and powerful.

Creativity is not just for children. It’s for everyone. Embracing creativity is a way to experience life and growth and joy and healing.


photo from Shutterstock




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    Last reviewed: 18 Aug 2012

APA Reference
Harmon, J. (2012). Embrace Your Creativity. Psych Central. Retrieved on January 25, 2015, from



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