“Creativity is the ability to transcend traditional ways of thinking or acting, and to develop new and original ideas, methods or objects.” – 99Designs
Creativity is important for everyone, there have even been studies showing that it can help you live longer. It has also been shown to reduce stress, help motivate you, make you more productive, help clarify your thoughts and feelings and bring people together.
From this list we can see that many of the things that ADHDers struggle with are here. However, the good news is that studies have also shown that ADHDers tend to be more creative than those without the condition. The key is to make time to harness your creativity and that doesn’t just mean being creative in an artistic way.
Alien Fruit Experiment
In a study conducted by University of Michigan researcher, Holly White, two groups of college students (26 with ADHD and 26 without) were asked to create an example of a fictional fruit that might exist on another planet but is different from a fruit known to exist on Earth. The non-ADHDers creations were less innovative and were often based on common fruits found on Earth. The ADHDers’ “alien fruits” were more original and contained more atypical features; evidence, White said, of the ADHDers’ greater “conceptual expansion”, a process “whereby traditional conceptual boundaries are extended”.
“Distractibility and a chaotic mind can give people with ADHD an edge when it comes to creative, original thinking. This new study suggests that ADHD may be especially beneficial when the goal is to create or invent something new without being locked into—and constrained by—old models or conventions. The innovative, original thinking style of people with ADHD may be a great fit for innovative fields where it’s an advantage to be on the cutting edge.”
“People who think the same way, often end up with the same or similar ideas – leading to a stagnation of genuinely innovative ideas. And this is where an “ADHD brain” can contribute to innovation.”
Starting small, with a few clumsy paintings and some crafts, I began folding more and more creativity into my days. And I slowly began feeling lighter, less irritable, and more satisfied with life. The change wasn’t quick, but it was lasting! Eventually, living this way restored me emotionally, and my physical health followed.