All children are creative but somewhere along the journey towards adulthood so many of us seem to lose our creative side. Children have a sense of adventure and care less about how they are perceived as the younger they are the more they see the world only through their own eyes. Piaget describes children as not being able to see the world from other people’s perspective but gradually grow out of this. At the point where the child becomes self conscious, being aware others are judging them they trend towards being less out going.
Stress is a well known creativity killer and the social pressures that are associated with realizing you are being judged by others can be stressful. In societies where there is more pressure to look a certain way, act a certain way and to achieve academically the social pressures are greater at this self awareness stage of development. Hence the increase in mental health issues amongst children in certain countries.
So what effects does have stress on the creative side of human beings. Well it stops the mind from being playful and makes us worry instead of thinking about possibilities. Stress can stop people from living in the moment and is tiring, draining us of our creative energy. Busy lives enhance the stress as we tend to do things we know instead of look for interesting alternatives. Stress is stressful and has a multitude of effects on creativity.
Adults can be creative and can find their lost creativity but it takes a concerted effort. The secret to finding or maintaining this creativity is simple, relax and rid yourself of stress. The stressed mind is unable to look for solutions and find new paths, instead being focused on one way of thinking. So how do we learn to relax as it’s not as easy as just telling one’s self to relax, although that is the first step.
Could meditation be the answer, using an extended awareness to embrace our environment. This type of meditation has been referred to as Open Monitoring where we fully absorb our whole environment evenly. This allows us to feel complete calm in the environment we find ourselves in. The combination of being relaxed and being immersed in our surroundings allows us to come up with new ideas, tapping into our creativity.
The freeing factor improves the mental processes and is an amazing tool for accessing our creativity. The feeling of freedom releases us from the damage done by the stresses we face in day to day life. When the mind opens, it creates mental agility and freedom of thought which, releases our creativeness.
I first had this experience when I was meditating on an empty beach in Koh Tao as the sun was setting many years ago. Koh Tao is an amazing place in Thailand where you can’t but help feel at one with the environment. After years of living a stressful working life I set of on an adventure ending up in Koh Tao where I had this life changing experience. Since that day I have learnt how to let go of stress and tap into my creative side.