Updated: Aug 5, 2022
Creativity and Mindfulness
Why do I highlight the importance of both creativity and mindfulness?
Creativity is the ability to use the imagination to formulate original ideas and possibilities. This valuable quality can be attributed to solutions to some of our most compelling problems. Creativity is also responsible for so many of the wonderful innovations that make our lives pleasant. Research is showing that mindfulness enhances creativity in a number of ways. And the fantastic thing is that anybody can benefit from it!
The flexibility of thought is essential to creativity and studies show that mindfulness practice is positively correlated with cognitive flexibility. This flexibility of thought is necessary for divergent thinking or having a flexible mindset. This type of mindset is one that characterizes creativity. Divergent thinking involves the exploration of many possible solutions, in contrast to convergent thinking or a fixed mindset, which involves finding the one “correct” answer to a problem. A fixed mindset keeps you stuck because you have the belief that intelligence, talent, and other qualities are innate and unchangeable. When combining and focusing on the process, rather than the product, there is a greater potential for overall resilience, happiness, and self-esteem as well.
Creativity also often relies on insight. Insight problem solving is the sudden discovery or recognition of a solution rather than a step-by-step analysis of factors. People with a more effective mindfulness practice have been found to be more likely to use an insight approach to solving problems. Interestingly, many of the insights gained about human psychology through years support mindfulness and that of the inner experience. They are now being supported by modern science.
The merging of mindfulness and creativity has so many incredible benefits that fit into the social-emotional learning (SEL) spectrum: interpersonal skills, self-awareness, relationship skills, self-management, and emotional well-being. Research shows that engaging in some form of creativity, paired with mindfulness, benefits children of all ages, and that there are no limiting cultural factors! Amazing!