Emotional Injuries Stimulate Creativity

Understanding the complexity of life can be a particularly fruitful path for psychological well-being. Embracing pain and in general the emotions considered negative, seeing them as a fundamental part of our existence, is an inherent characteristic of creativity.

In recent decades,  Western society has had as a leitmotif an aversion to pain  in almost all of its manifestations. In a culture that has accustomed us to immediate consumption and instant gratification, emotions like sadness, anger, discouragement or frustration have no place.

These emotions are perceived as dysfunctional alterations, which take us out of the circuits of production and consumption. When we do not renounce pain but include it as an element that constitutes and shapes us, creation begins and expresses itself.

“Creativity means allowing yourself to make mistakes. “

-Scott Adams-

What emotions make us more creative?

Throughout history, many artists and scientists have shown that  in the less happy times of their lives they experienced greater levels of creativity.

Neuroscience has shed light on the connections that open the doors to creativity. A study by Dr. Roger Beaty found that  people with greater levels of creativity have a greater connection between two areas of the brain that do not normally get along very well.

From this research, we also discover that  people who show a greater emotional commitment, that is to say people open to the deepening of their emotions, are more open to inspiration,  this being a more reliable mark of creativity than of intellectual level.

Other studies have found that  when people find themselves in unusual environments, where emotions clash, creativity increases. This happens because the brain is forced to make associations that it would not make in normal situations.

When it comes to emotions, it has also been shown that  positive emotional states can stimulate creativity,  thus making it possible to generate more ideas, even if they are not necessarily more original. In the case of negative emotions like sadness, rage, melancholy, and disillusionment, these help people generate more ideas when the creative task is considered interesting. In this way, the individual who has a negative state of mind finds in the creative process a remedy to return to a neutral or positive emotional state.

To live a creative life, we have to let go of our fear of making mistakes.

-Joseph Chilton Pierce-

Emotional education and creativity

Sir Ken Robinson is an educator, writer and expert in topics related to creativity. He was awarded the title of sir by the Queen of England for introducing art lessons into the school career. He denounced in the most watched TED debate in history that school, with a traditional educational vision, kills emotions and creativity.

In his research, he showed how  90% of kindergarten students exhibit high levels of creative thinking. As they progress through school, in these same children who are now 12 years old, only 20% of them manage to maintain these high levels of divergent thinking.

However, creativity is increasingly a required quality in 21st century society. Numerous studies have shown that  the emotional characteristics of the individual have a specific impact on their creative and artistic capacity.

There are many psychological processes that influence the manifestation of this ability and, among them, the tendency to maintain positive states of mind. These are linked to the release of dopamine, which facilitates the flexible development of attention and the ability to develop a greater number of cognitive perspectives.

Negative emotional states affect creativity, but in a different way. During the pain and sadness phase,  the creative impulse is normally linked to a more specific type of task  and creative output, such as music and writing.

Despite the fact that  emotions are linked to creativity, they are in a way that depends a lot on the type of task being performed. Some researchers understand that positive moods affect the phases of perception and the final phase of the artistic creation process, while the negatives affect the early phases of preparation, incubation and ideation.

“In every child there is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist while growing up. “

-Pablo Picasso-


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