How a Creative Outlet Helps Cultivate Sanity

For the last five days I've been an altered version of myself.  When I don't get to express myself creatively, I almost turn into the Incredible Hulk.  There are thoughts and emotions that build up inside me that get bottled up.  The longer I don't have a creative outlet, more pressure builds.  It's almost as if my very sanity is dependent on my artistic expression.  I write (obviously), draw, design, produce poetry, craft custom cards, and consistently try something new that I find interesting.  This is how creative expression keeps my brain in one piece:

It makes everything more fun.
More fun equals less stress, which is something everyone could benefit from.  Creating something from scratch and building something with my bare hands can be really satisfying.  There is nothing like cooking a fresh home made meal for my family, writing a poem that provokes thinking, or sketching a scene that sparks the imagination.

It provides a positive way to express overwhelming emotions. 
When I've had a bad day, having someone to confide in is almost vitally necessary.  Having a paper and pen to dictate how I feel can be life saving.  It's like having a best friend handy that I can tell anything and everything to without judgement. 

On the other hand, when I've had a great day and feel on top of the world, I just want to share it.  I want to manifest it all in a piece of art so that others can feel it too.  Part of the beauty of art is expressing complex ideas and feelings in previously unseen and profound ways.

It helps generate new and powerful ideas through playing and experimenting.
To me, teaching is an art.  Some people may argue that it's also a science, but it's more a form of performance art.  Sometimes my best ideas come to me at the most unexpected times.  By watching Hell's Kitchen and Iron Chef, I've designed some interesting and very effective teaching lessons.  I'm always looking for new ways to motivate students.

Throughout my whole life, I've been an advocate for trying new things.  It helps keep my mind open to the world around me.  I'm constantly trying something new in the classroom.  Some attempts work, and others aren't as effective.  I continually try new methods to help my students learn and see what works and what needs to be improved upon. 

Playful experimentation helps keep everything interesting.  I try to write articles or poems in a different style or perspective.  I attempt to take pictures from angles that I usually don't do.  When I feel brave enough, I try to draw in daring new ways.  It challenges me by forcing me to think and act outside of my comfort zone.  That's when I get results (both expected and unexpected) to build upon.

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