Art has seen the best of men thrive. Whether it’s the pursuit of art that has made men achieve greater heights of success or not is something we really have not established. What’s apparent is many of those who’ve achieved astonishing feats defying standards were men of art.
A glorious example here is Leonardo da Vinci (1452 – 1519). Few men can truly compare to the genius of this Italian polymath. What’s more amazing than his science and inventions that were centuries ahead of his time is that he was an artist who used his eyes to represent beauty to the highest degree in art. True enough, his works, as epitomized by the Mona Lisa, are known worldwide until now.
But art helps everyone, even those not as gifted as Leonardo. Its ability to influence humans positively has encouraged many scientists and researchers to look deeper.
Fascinated by an artist’s ability to focus on their work even if it did not result in increasing wealth, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyione, a world-renowned psychologist, bumped into the flow state. Simply put, it is a certain feeling of ecstasy that flows when someone is so absorbed in a creative state. Mihaly discussed his findings in a TED talk.
Tapping into that flow state should bid every American well. At a time when mental health in millions is severely challenged thanks to the pandemic, it’s a treasure trove. Listed below are ways to reach your creative side and attain such a valuable state of flow to thrive during the coronavirus pandemic.
What Exactly Is the Flow State?
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyione, a Hungarian-American psychologist, is a product of war-torn Europe. It was his sad experience of seeing men wanting to rebuild their lives after WWII fail that drove him to look for the drive that made life worth living.
In his research, he studied hard what made men happy in what they’re doing. He looked into money and if wealth was the vital cog that made the wheel of happiness turn. His data showed otherwise.
After extensive research, he noticed that creative people (e.g., musicians, painters, artists) labored extensively with a steady focus not so common in most men. They could provide the answer. And true enough, he found out that these people spent their lives on their art even when it did not give them fame or fortune. Their art itself, and their pursuit of it, gave them fulfillment.
He outlined his findings in his seminal work, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, and explained his theory that people are happiest when they are in a flow state. Such a state allows people to be so absorbed in their work as if nothing else matters.
Need Not Be Perfect
Today, art therapists all over the world are showing how creativity is a tool to ease stress. It allows people to carry their burdens better. Art therapy, for one, has been instrumental in helping patients process traumatic things that may be impossible to process via traditional therapy sessions.
When you create art, you’re introducing the flow state into your system. Your art need not be perfect. You need not become a Leonardo da Vinci to experience such a state. What’s more, there are many crafts to express your emotions during the pandemic, including writing, knitting, sewing, painting, composing songs, and embroidery.
When you achieve a flow state, your mind is stimulated. You embrace mindfulness, experiencing positive feelings of mastery in the process.
You need not worry about starting. There are countless tools you can seek online that will help boost your skills and achieve your desired output. A good example here is the much sought-after Simplicity patterns. These patterns are a brilliant guide to help anyone who wants to tailor an outfit. They make the sewing job a lot easier.
Do It for Others
What’s more amazing is art is a bridge. It’s a great way to connect with the people who are dear to us.
When you write a letter (using a pen) or create a card for someone, you bring a quality element into the message. In an age where communication is cheap, it’s a welcome addition. Today, when you can easily text or chat with someone, sending a card that’s personally made allows you to express your feelings better for that person.
The act itself becomes altruistic. You go beyond your own selfish desires. When you finish a painting and send it to the one you love, you think beyond yourself. And chances are, you’re making the people you hold dear in your heart happy. At a time when sorrow is rampant, it’s a godsend.