Home » Blogs » The Creative Mind » Developing Creativity: Both High Energy and Rest

Developing Creativity: Both High Energy and Rest

“It is also good every so often to go away and relax a little for when you come back to your work your judgment will be better, since to remain constantly at work causes you to deceive yourself.” Leonardo da Vinci

Of course, everyone can benefit from getting rest and relaxation, but one of the common personality traits for many, if not most, creative people is high sensitivity – which may require that we get even more rest and renewal.

That may be a reason that Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi noted in his list of ten traits of the creative personality, “Creative people have a great deal of physical energy, but they’re also often quiet and at rest.”

He found that many creative people he studied and interviewed worked “long hours, with great concentration, while projecting an aura of freshness and enthusiasm.

“This suggests a superior physical endowment, a genetic advantage. Yet it is surprising how often individuals who in their seventies and eighties exude energy and health remember childhoods plagued by illness.”

He thinks this may be because their energy “is internally generated, due more to their focused minds than to the superiority of their genes.”

But, he noted, “This does not mean that creative people are hyperactive, always ‘on.’ In fact, they rest often and sleep a lot.

“The important thing is that they control their energy; it’s not ruled by the calendar, the dock, an external schedule. When necessary, they can focus it like a laser beam; when not, creative types immediately recharge their batteries.”

From article The Creative Personality: Ten paradoxical traits of the creative personality, by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (pronounced me-high chick-sent-me-high).

From his book: Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention.

Psychologist and high sensitivity educator and author Elaine Aron, PhD advises sensitive people to “Plan some rest time after anything that is highly stimulating, even if it was fun.” [From the February 2009 issue of her newsletter Comfort Zone.]

In her book The highly sensitive person: How to thrive when the world overwhelms you, she writes that in addition to sleep, “We need all kinds of rest.”

That need for conscious self-care is also addressed in the article Work that Works for Sensitive Souls: Six Steps to Transforming Your Career, By Jenna Avery, CLC, Life Coach for Sensitive Souls.

Photo: Sleepin’ w/ Hillary’s Book, by DickStock.

Developing Creativity: Both High Energy and Rest

Douglas Eby

Douglas EbyDouglas Eby, MA/Psychology, is a writer and researcher on psychology and personal development related to creativity; creator of the , and author of books including [link to book site with excerpts.]
~ ~
Some excerpts from The Creative Mind are included in his newsletter .
~ ~

Emotional Health Resources - Programs, books, articles and sites to improve your emotional wellbeing.

2 comments: View Comments / Leave a Comment



APA Reference
Eby, D. (2011). Developing Creativity: Both High Energy and Rest. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 2, 2020, from


Last updated: 23 Mar 2011
Statement of review: Psych Central does not review the content that appears in our blog network ( prior to publication. All opinions expressed herein are exclusively those of the author alone, and do not reflect the views of the editorial staff or management of Psych Central. Published on All rights reserved.