Empaths and Creativity
It’s been a while since I’ve written a blog post for Empath Corner. That’s because life has been super busy for me, and I’ve been putting a lot of my spare time and attention to my art and that is what I’m finding I am wanting to write about more these days. However, I realised that the two can actually go together, so today I’m writing about Empaths and Creativity.
INFJ and INFP Personality Types
It’s interesting to note that Empaths and Highly Sensitive People are generally INFJ or INFP personality types and are usually highly creative people! I recall doing the Myers Briggs test when I was working in the corporate world, probably on more than one occasion. From memory, I think I am an INFJ personality type. It’s cool to see that people like Oprah Winfrey, Taylor Swift, Jane Goodall, Eleanor Roosevelt, Emily Bronte, Florence Nightingale, Shirley MacLaine, J.K. Rowling, and Brené Brown are (or were) also INFJ’s!
It struck me that the fact we are highly creative people is a good thing, because we can use this to our advantage, to help protect our energy and to cope with today’s world that is so over stimulating and fast paced. Of course as empaths and highly sensitive people, we are over stimulated even more than the average person. The more of us that get off our devices and participating in creative interests that offer us mindfulness and a break from overstimulation, the better.
Here’s what Google tells me: “A creative act such as crafting or art can help focus the mind, and has even been compared to meditation due to its calming effects on the brain and body. Even just gardening or sewing releases dopamine, a natural anti-depressant. Creativity reduces anxiety, depression, and stress… And it can also help you process trauma.”
I know that I have enjoyed creativity my entire life, be it colouring in as a child, decorating my school books, knitting, crocheting, tapestry, long stitch, cross stitch, doing mosaics, photography, drawing, painting, gardening, etc. It’s not just enjoying the end result that is so great, it’s the process that provides a focus and stillness of thoughts that therefore provides us a break from our monkey minds and the problems of the world. I don’t know about you but when I’m being creative I become completely absorbed in what I am doing. That is mindfulness.
It’s interesting to read (at the link provided above for INFJ) that these are popular careers for INFJ’s:
- Religious worker
Not all would suit me I have to say, and that is because this list does not account for the fact I am an empath. Artist – yes I’d love to be. Actor – no I dislike attention on myself and am too self conscious. Entrepreneur – nope I’m a hopeless business person. Religious Worker – not for me. Musician – yes! I have played guitar and piano but aside from some piano lessons as a child, I was mostly self taught and never properly trained in either. I also used to sing. Yes I’ve sung in pubs, clubs, and at parties. Long ago. Counsellor or Psychologist – hmmm well I often seem to draw people to me that offload their problems to me and I do like to listen and help people BUT this would not be a good occupation for me. As an Empath, it would exhaust me. Writer – well I have had a blog for over 10 years so yes I think that would suit me! Teacher – maybe in my younger days? Although after further thought I would be quite open to teaching techniques and things I’ve learnt with my art. Photographer – I love photography but to create as art, not as a service provider to other people.
The popular career paths for an INFP are similar but less: Artist, Counsellor, Graphic Designer, Librarian, Psychologist, Physical Therapist, Social Worker, Writer. I’d have loved Graphic Designer and Librarian on my INFJ list!
So why do Empaths need activities to protect their energy and reduce over stimulation?
Because being around other people, sounds and all the various stimuli and stressors that are out there in the world over stimulates us which results in draining our energy. We need various things to help us to manage this so that we can better function in this world. One way is of course pursuing activities that provide mindfulness – ‘creativity‘.
In addition to creativity we need:
- Alone time
- Time in nature
- Deep, meaningful conversations (can’t stand small talk)
- to limit time with draining people – “energy vampires” (I’ll write on this topic soon)
- to surround ourselves with people who understand us and with whom we feel comfortable being our true selves
- Peace and quiet. We do not like loud noises.
- It’s always nice to receive kindness and empathy rather than always just giving it.
- to learn how to give ourselves freedom from carrying the burdens of others.
- Lots of self compassion, self care, and self love.
- to avoid crowded spaces.
So back to creativity – let’s look at some different types – there’s heaps to choose from!
- Musical Expression
- Creative Journaling
- Cross Stitching
- Flower Arranging
- and heaps more!
Of course you don’t need to be an empath to benefit from participating in creative pursuits. We can ALL benefit from being creative.
What’s your creativity of choice? Maybe there’s two or three creative activities you enjoy? Please share in the comments, and let me know if your favourite way to be creative isn’t listed and I’ll add it in!
Ciao for now,