By: Hannah Penelope
Exclusively written for TheProfessionalWomansMentor.com
We can sometimes find ourselves in unpleasant situations where we're forced to face seemingly insurmountable problems. These circumstances can be especially discouraging when you feel like you’ve done everything you can without any positive outcomes. It’s exactly in these moments when you should stop and take a breather, pick up your earphones and paintbrush, and tap into your creative problem-solving skills.
Solving Problems with a Blank Canvas
As simple as it may sound, immersing yourself in art can help you solve real-life problems. Researchers from New York found that people who practice art have better problem-solving skills than those who don’t. So, if you’ve been trying to repeatedly jab at a situation with every logical solution you can think of to no avail, it may be time to pause and make some art. You don’t have to be a creative genius like Picasso to reap the benefits of art, you just have to let your mind wander and express yourself on paper. This exercise is beneficial because unlike math, there is no correct answer in art — this concept can help you understand how there is no singular path to solving your problems.
When you’re feeling stuck at work or in school, follow Erik Wahl’s advice and buy a box of crayons. Yes, a box of crayons — either a massive set, a 3-piece jumbo one, or even glitter pens. Let the child inside you come out and help you through carefree and borderless art. Having the freedom to play with colors on a blank canvas will give you the fresh perspective you need to solve nearly any problem in a creative way. It's also a good way to exercise the brain and come back to your initial problem with a fresher, more creative perspective.
The Power of Music
There’s no question that music affects your mood and the way you think down to the cellular level. In fact, a study published on Science Daily notes how listening to music lights up your entire brain, stimulating different areas related to mood and creativity. The music you love can make you happy, relaxed, and stress-free — all of which can fuel your creativity. Psychologists from the University of Toronto reveal how happiness and creativity are intertwined, explaining that the happier you are, the more creative you tend to be. In short, music is good for emotional and mental wellbeing. That’s good news for when you come to solving problems, as psychologists from Maryville University confirm how mental health and learning success are directly linked. Your happiness, creativity, ability to learn, and problem solving capabilities are all part of a delicate balance that can be enhanced by your favorite songs.
So, the next time you’re feeling frustrated about a situation or a problem, unplug for a bit and listen to a song that relaxes you. Healthline even points out how all kinds of music can be beneficial, with upbeat music being the obvious choice for a myriad of mental benefits. Don’t think of it as wasting time, but rather making time for your creativity to shine through.
Overall, art and music can significantly affect the way you view and approach your problems. Drawing on a blank canvas or listening to your favorite song can do more than just help you relax, it can also prepare you for challenges you face in your everyday life. Taking a step back to focus on these activities will help you improve your creative problem-solving skills and will equip you with fresh perspectives and ideas that will surprise you in the best ways possible.