There are plenty of benefits of being creative. Creative people, who tend to use the right side of the brain, can be highly talented, charismatic and see beyond the obvious.
But on the flip side, creative types can also find it hard to stay focused, tend to think in black and white (something’s either appalling or it’s amazing), and although they appear to have lots of friends, can feel lonely a lot of the time.
Perfectionists, drama queens and overly sensitive are labels often attached to creative people. While these words should on their own have positive connotations – perfection, sensitivity, emotional – they have become viewed as negative traits (and ones that are also often associated with females 😦 )
One of the hardest things about about being creative is you’re often super in tune to what’s happening around you. This emotional intuition is an asset in terms of making creative types caring friends, parents and employees but it also means we tend to polarise situations very quickly – black and white thinking.
To avoid this you need to consider the language you attach to situations. Over time, overly emotional responses can become reality. Those constant negative voices in your head distort your responses, can be off putting to others and affect your beliefs.
Quieting a busy brain is tricky but once you’re aware that you’re over reacting to situations or perhaps can see that the words you use are not being understood in the same way by others, there are ways to calm the chaos upstairs:
- Returning home. At yoga, we practice deep breathing techniques. Our instructor calls it “returning home”. At night when my mind starts to wander off on tangents, I try to repeat that phrase in my head as a kind of mental trigger to calming down.
- Aerobic exercise helps burn up some energy that might otherwise ping around inside your head going nowhere fast!
- Focus on one thing at a time. This is hard when faced with consecutive, competing demands. But at the end of that day, no one is super human.If there’s not time to do everything, then there’s not. That needs to be verbalised to your family/employer or friends. See my previous post on monotasking.
- Time management. Be realistic. By all means make lists and keep weekly diaries but set some time aside (Sunday afternoon?) to go back and see if you spent your time doing what you really wanted to. If you’re still allowing unrealistic demands take over your life, time to put on your big girl’s pants and have some possibly tough conversations with the people making those demands.
- Maintaining friendships. Creative people can appear to be outgoing so don’t find it hard to make friends. While that’s great, it’s important to maintain existing friendships. Aim for quality over quantity and when you do spend time with friends, make sure you’re really listening to them, not racing ahead to where you think the conversation is going.
Being creative is a strength but also brings its own challenges. If you’re feeling like a mouse on a treadmill, if you have lots of amazing ideas but rarely get any of them done, if you’re constantly being pulled in several directions, you probably aren’t being true to yourself. And you’re probably starting to feel a bit unhappy and dissatisfied.
Aiming to be less knee jerk in your emotional responses, wiser with your time management, breathing deeply and exercising regularly all help to quiet the busy creative mind.