How adventure enhances creativity in young people
Creativity is an important asset for a child’s future and it’s an asset that is likely to be future proof.
It’s important that a young adult leaves the educational system understanding how to manage their thought processes and to handle frustrations.
For BeVenturesome, the outdoors and adventure play an integral role in developing our creative process.
Here are a few examples of how the outdoors can help young people:
It reduces stress which stifles creativity
‘Stress Assassinates Creativity‘, writes Robbie Blair. When you are stressed the brain reallocates its resources to the primitive parts and abstract thinking and creativity go out of the window.
Research has shown that merely looking at a forest scene for 20 minutes can reduce the concentration of cortisol, a stress hormone found in your saliva, by 13.4%. It’s not just the visuals of the outdoors that reduce stress. The smell of lavender can reduce stress and scent of freshly cut grass can calm you and make you happier!
Imagine what a week in the mountains could do?
Walking makes us more creative
“All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking” Friedrich Nietzsche (1889)
The American Psychological Association found that 81% of people surveyed were more creative while walking. This survey also concludes that the creativity boost you get from walking continues for a while after you get back to sitting!
Showing young people a variety of ways to have fun and enjoy being outdoors can encourage them to walk more and think better.
Creativity needs failure
It needs bad ideas, terrible ideas, weird ideas, bizarre ideas. It’s important for young people to understand that the creative process needs ‘failures’ as a stepping stone to success.
Creative Work Needs Failure is a fantastic article written by HubSpot who create cutting edge marketing software.
Of course, part of teaching the creative process is reframing failure as an essential part of the learning process.
The outdoors and adventure activities present a wonderful opportunity to allow young people to ‘get things wrong’ without them considering it a failure. How can we build that bridge better? How did that raft fall apart? How did we get lost?
Creativity is playful. We don’t play enough
It’s well understood that play is a very creative activity.
Young people generally find it easy to play but often forget how to when they become adults.
Adventure can give young people the opportunity to find something that suits them as an excuse to play in later life. For some that might be music or sport. For some it might be getting outside and swimming, exploring or paddling. Adventure sports give us a great excuse to play as adults!
Appreciation of other environments
Understanding when you need to be creative is important.
Appreciating that coming up with potential new markets for your company or writing a blog requires a very different skill set than number crunching on a spread sheet.
Application of different skill sets require different environments.
The outdoors is such a dramatically different environment to the classroom or the office that, if used appropriately, young people can really see how important environments are to changing their way of thinking.
If young people can go into the work place appreciating this then they will be one step ahead of the game
Taking you out of your comfort zone
To end, we look at the hardest part about creativity. Pressing Publish.
Showing your work to the world is a very daunting process. If your work is new and innovative then it’s going to be up for criticism. Being comfortable entering the uncomfortable zone is a pretty important skill to learn.
Adventure experiences, by their very nature, provide a fantastic opportunity for creating zones of comfort to be entered, exited and pushed. Doing adventure activities can help young people realise that they can do a whole lot more than they thought and that the uncomfortable zone is never as uncomfortable as they feared.