Emotional wounds stimulate creativity

Emotional wounds stimulate creativity

Emotional wounds stimulate creativity

Last update: January 03, 2017

The path of understanding the complexity of life can be incredibly fruitful for our psychological well-being. Embracing pain and, in general, emotions considered "negative", trying to see them as a fundamental part of our existence, has a lot to do with creativity.

In recent decades, one of the salient features of Western society has been the constant aversion to pain, in any of its manifestations. In a culture that has accustomed us to immediate consumption and instant satisfaction of our desires, emotions such as sadness, anger, disappointment or frustration seem to find no place.

These emotions are perceived as not very functional alterations, which take us out of the circuits of production and consumption. When, on the contrary, we do not give up pain, but include it as an element that constitutes us and is part of us, we activate and express true creation..

"Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes."

-Scott Adams-

What emotions make us more creative?

Throughout history, many artists and scientists have claimed to have reached the highest levels of creativity in the least happy moments of their lives.

Neuroscience has tried to shed some light on the brain connections that open the doors of creativity. A study by Dr. Roger Beaty allows to argue that people with higher creative levels have a stronger connection between two areas of the brain that usually don't get along very well.

From this research we also deduce that people who have a deeper emotional commitment, i.e. those who are open to going deep into their emotions, are more open to inspiration. The latter is one of the most reliable indices of creativity with respect to the intellectual level.

Other studies have found that when individuals are in an unusual environment, where they experience conflicting emotions, their creativity increases.. This happens because the brain is forced to make associations that in normal situations it would not.

As for emotions, it has also been shown that positive emotional states can stimulate creativity, because they allow you to produce more ideas. These, however, are not necessarily more original. In the case of negative emotions, such as sadness, anger, melancholy or disappointment, however, people are able to produce more ideas when creative work is considered interesting. So, an individual who has a negative state of mind, finds in the creative process a solution to return to a neutral or positive state.

"To live a creative life, we must lose the fear of making mistakes."

-Joseph Chilton Pierce-

Emotional education and creativity

Sir Ken Robinson is an educator, writer and expert on creativity related issues. He was named "Sir" by the Queen of England in recognition of having included art courses in the school curriculum for the first time.

His talk at a TED conference, in which he argued that the school's traditional educational approach kills children's emotions and creativity, was the most viewed in history.

Sir Ken Robinson's research shows how 90% of pre-school age children exhibit a high level of creative thinking. Over the school years, however, only 12% of children as young as 20 manage to maintain such levels of divergent thinking.

However, creativity is, once again, a quality much in demand in XNUMXst century society. And many studies have shown that the emotional characteristics of the individual have a specific impact on his creative and artistic abilities.

There are many psychological processes that affect the manifestation of these abilities. Among them, the tendency to maintain positive moods. These have a close relationship with the production of dopamine, which facilitates the flexible development of attention and the ability to develop more cognitive perspectives.

Negative emotional states, therefore, also affect creativity, but in a different way. During the pain and sadness phase, the creative impulse is usually related to a more specific type of creative production work, such as music or writing.

Although emotions are related to creativity, their relationship depends a lot on the type of creative work we have to do. Some researchers argue that positive moods affect the stages of perception and the final stage of the artistic creative process, while negative emotions affect the early stages of preparation, incubation and ideation.

"Every child is an artist, the problem is how to continue to be one when he grows up."

-Pablo Picasso-


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