When was the last time you dreamt up a story or spent the afternoon working on a drawing? When the hustle and bustle of daily life intervenes, it’s natural to fall into a no-nonsense mindset that leaves little room to daydream.
However, you do yourself a grave disservice — adults need to engage their imagination, too. Here are eight reasons why you should free your creative side and indulge in the occasional fantasy.
1. It Helps to Cope With Boredom
Traffic hasn’t moved more than an inch in the past 20 minutes and pounding on the steering wheel and cursing isn’t prodding things along any more quickly. You could sit and stew in your juices, but your negative attitude will attract the wrong kind of attention from the boss when you finally arrive at the office.
Why not use this time to get a bit creative? While you don’t want to violate your region’s texting and driving laws, you can brainstorm ideas for a work project or that novel you’ve meant to write forever. Download an app that converts your speech into a journal entry you can look back on later.
2. It Develops Your Artistic Sense
One of the benefits of engaging your imagination includes developing creative problem-solving skills and an appreciation of artistic endeavors. If you work in fashion or graphic design, you can immediately grasp the benefits.
However, what if you’re a stay-at-home mom? Why does it matter when all you see is finger paintings and coloring book pages? You nevertheless need to design an inviting bedroom for your little ones. Plus, you learn how to save money by repurposing an old basket and colorful leaf-laden fall branches into a centerpiece instead of buying one at the craft shop.
3. It Advances Your Career
According to the World Economic Forum, the number one soft skill you can bring to your job is problem-solving ability. Engaging your imagination makes you a regular whiz kid at this endeavor.
Think about it: You have to find a way to delight your clients while still bringing their project in under budget. How can you make it happen? Engage your creativity, find ways to repurpose materials like pallets for their restaurant remodel and watch them shower you — and your boss — with praise.
4. It Aids When Navigating Crises
Throughout the pandemic, your landlord assured you that everything was fine. As the COVID-19 disruptions continued to cause interruptions in his business cash flow, he decided to sell your unit anyway. You need to pack your bags and find a new place to live — fast.
How do you come up with over a thousand bucks on the fly during a recession? You learn how to play “Chopped” the Poverty Edition by combining the leftover fast food sauce packets cluttering your fridge with inexpensive ramen. Bye-bye, grocery bill.
Then, you sort through your belongings with a minimalist eye and sell anything you haven’t used in the past year. You score sweet moving discounts by offering to write insightful reviews for the website of your hired company.
5. It Provides Flashes of Insight
Have you ever had an “aha moment” — one where the solution to a troublesome problem pops into your brain like magic? It’s no more divine inspiration than it’s lucky genetics that makes The Rock able to bench 450 pounds while barely breaking a sweat.
Your brain may not resemble your biceps, but it’s a muscle nevertheless. If you want to have more flashes of insight, you need to nurture the right environment the same way a bodybuilder prepares for competition — lots of practice. Once you get used to engaging your imagination, it comes more naturally when you need it.
6. It Makes Household Chores Less Cumbersome
There’s no way to make vacuuming and dusting fun, is there? If you have an elementary school-aged child, tell her to pretend she’s Cinderella and watch her mop your floors while singing the birds from the sky. Okay, maybe not the latter — avian poo makes a mess all over again.
A little imagination does make the least agreeable chores more tolerable. You might never enjoy mowing the lawn, but if you get lost in a fantasy of tending the back 40, the time passes more quickly.
7. It Adds Value to All You Produce
You’ve worked at your job for over a decade, and you can do it in your sleep. Now that you’ve mastered the basics, why not put your imagination to the test by stepping into your customer’s shoes and seeing how you can improve your product or service?
Instead of cranking out the usual, ask yourself questions like, “what are my customer’s pain points, and what’s most important to them?” When you can answer their needs more effectively, they’ll keep coming back.
8. It Makes You Smile and Improves Your Mood
Finally, when you feel good about yourself, you radiate an energy that’s tough to match. Engaging your imagination gives you a reason to smile even when you feel down — you can always daydream about brighter days.
Plus, it’s tough to muster the energy to do anything when you feel depressed. Engage the power of your imagination to help you get out of your motionless rut and move forward despite adversity.
Adults Still Need to Engage Their Imagination — Here’s Why
There are multiple benefits to engaging your imagination as an adult. Set your creativity free and reap the rewards.
Jennifer Landis is a mom, wife, freelance writer, and blogger at Mindfulness Mama. She enjoys yoga day, red wine, and drinking all of the tea she can find. Follow her on Twitter @JenniferELandis.
Image courtesy of Kinga Cichewicz.