In my latest vlog, I discuss the link between creativity and mental health. You can watch the video above or on YouTube, and the text follows.
I have made a discovery. I feel so much better when I don’t consume. That could be a multiplicity of things. From (over)eating to binge streaming, social media to an Amazon wish list, art supplies to musical instrument and audio plugins. Yes, all those can be a little obsessive for me, but it is also the same for reading, watching a film and even listening to music.
Hold on Darren, Mr Creative Minimalist, aren’t you going a little far here? Well, let’s explore things a bit more. Let’s expand it and flip it. I feel so much better when I create, make or do and don’t consume!
I find it too easy to become passive and just take. Endless scrolling… binge-watching… overeating… buying more than I can afford. Yes, of course, those are negative, and that makes sense. They are extremes that we all know are not great for us. Slip into one of those and our mental health will naturally take a tumble.
On the other hand, there are things that we need to consume. We need food to live, we need other items that can only be bought to stay warm and safe… we need to consume oxygen to live. And we need the tools to create, make and do. And, and this is where it gets really tricky, our creativity and creative soul needs input; we need to consume to create. To write well we should read widely, likewise, we compose better the more we learn about music and sound and the techniques of other composers, and visual art, well we consume inspiration from others. And if you want to get all spiritual muse with it all, we consume from the well of inspiration and then create.
So consume, don’t consume… I’m stuck in the middle… and of course somewhere in the middle is where I, and perhaps you, need to be.
But back to my discovery, the realisation that there is a positive mental health benefit to replacing the consuming with the creating and doing. There have been many studies advocating the benefits of creativity and the link between creativity and our mental health and so I am just adding my voice to that body of evidence in my own teeny tiny way.
It’s subjective, but I know, I can feel the positive effects in my being when I create. I suppose it is the model equivalent of doing a good honest day’s work. Just create something, a doodle, hum a tune, tap a foot. Be creative in incremental steps, it can have a positive effect. Nudge that dial from consuming to creating in whatever way you can.
I am no medical practitioner, so if you are struggling with your mental health please seek professional advice, but if you want to feel a little better, try a little creative act today.
Stay safe and I’ll see you soon.
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