Creativity Tip: What Delights You?

Next up in my series of Creativity Tips, I’d like share the following exercise – one that has helped me in the past, continues to help me in the present and I know I will keep doing in the future.

I call it the “What Delights You?” exercise.

Start by making a list of at least 25 things that delight you. It can be anything.

For example, my list may look like this:

  1. Fresh flowers in my flat
  2. Laughing with a good friend
  3. Watching a robin having a bird bath
  4. Walking in the woods
  5. Smelling fresh sea air
  6. Walking barefoot on grass
  7. Walking barefoot on sand
  8. Rummaging around an art supply shop

And so forth.

After jotting down 25 things as fast as you can, look over your list. Are there any surprises? Any themes that pop out?

Write down some thoughts around your list.

Then pick one thing and take a step towards bringing that delight into your life. For example, if I pick number one on my list, I can pop to a flower shop and buy myself a bunch a flowers to have in my flat. Then I can look at them and feel feelings of delight whenever I see them. And I suggest you really do stop and feel those feelings inside – the warm glow or the softening of your heart when you experience the delight.

Tulips in Watercolour - Carrie Sanderson

 

Focusing on what delights me shifts my mood and my perspective. For me it’s seeing the beauty in the details and appreciating the simple pleasures on a daily basis. When our lives are busy and we’re running around it’s easy to forget to stop, be present in our bodies and in the moment. This exercise aims to make us more mindful of ourselves and our environment, for example. It can even reduce feelings of stress.

If you want to take this exercise further, then I challenge you to think of 50 things, 75 or even 100 things. Then to pick one thing a day to focus on – how will you bring that thing into your life? Remember to feel the good feelings associated with what delights you to boost your mood, release (more) feel good chemicals in the brain and therefore reduce stress.

There is a place for creativity when we’re not feeling good – it can be helpful to use creativity to heal or express ourselves when we weren’t able to, or when it wasn’t appropriate, for example. It’ll start the process of getting to a place of feeling better. That has been my experience.

So if I am feeling a little down, I can look at my list of what delights me and use one (or more) things to uplift myself. And you never know, it can serve as the catalyst or inspiration for a new creative project or piece of work – I have found every time I have fresh flowers in my flat, I end up drawing or painting them (for fun)!

What are some of the things that delight you? What can you do to bring more delight into your experience? Feel free to share in the comments below.

 

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