The spirit of Fun a Day can be best summarized by this sign that popped up on the corner of Reseda Boulevard and Sherman Way. How can you be in a bad mood after seeing a sign like that? You may be driving to work or going to the dentist for a root canal, but seeing a cheerful red heart like that can instantly lift your spirits.
That’s what creativity can do. It can boost our spirits. Even though creating stuff takes work, it doesn’t feel like it. Even though it takes time, the hours seem to go by quickly. I can get wrapped up in my writing and not realize until I look at my watch that it’s past midnight — and I’m not even tired.
So, what is the magic of creativity? Why does it make us happy?
First, the act of creating things is relaxing by itself. Mom turned to needlepoint to help her deal with the stress of working and raising a family as a single mother. She had to focus on the stitches, so it forced her to set aside any negative thoughts from her day. Seeing the design take shape gave her a sense of control at a time where she had little control over her life.
Second, creativity can be therapeutic. We can work out our problems in our art. We can express anger, sorrow, and even happiness in our work that we had trouble sharing with others. When we let out our feelings through art, we can feel better. We can release emotions that have been pent up inside of us. We may even find the solution to our problems.
Finally, creativity gives us a sense of accomplishment. When we can create a piece of art like that painting, share it with others, and see the pleasure they get from it, we feel great. We feel like we’ve done something meaningful. We’ve made a contribution to the world through our work.
When we do something that gives us pleasure, releases feelings we’ve been bottling up, and produces something tangible that we can share with others, we feel happy. That’s what creativity can do for us.