Who wouldn’t like to be more creative? You might think you have no creativity at all, but that’s untrue. You’re incredibly creative! You created the life you have, even if it was unintentional. Being creative in a more intentional manner is something that most would find beneficial.
Learn these strategies to release and enhance your creativity:
1. Try new things. Our thoughts and decisions are largely based on our experiences. Start trying new things.
For example, if you go skydiving or take a nude painting class for the first time, you’re bound to have a new perspective on the world.
2. Look to your past. When have you had your best ideas? John Denver stated that he wrote his best songs after performing a stimulating outdoor activity, such as downhill skiing or flying his airplane.
It’s common to experience high levels of creativity when the mind is partially engaged, but still free to roam. Situations like mowing the grass or taking a shower would meet the criteria.
3. Embrace austerity. Life can be way too chaotic. Go camping with nothing but a tent, sleeping bag, and bottle of water. Leave the distractions at home!
Focus on finding solutions as you fall asleep. Put your subconscious to work for the eight hours you spend sleeping each night.
4. Change the location. Have you ever noticed that you think the same thoughts in a given location? You think one way at home. At work, your thought processes are different. If you need to be more creative, try someplace different. Spend the afternoon walking in the woods or sitting at the bookstore.
-A change of scenery can allow you to think new, creative thoughts!
5. Choose your moments. While it’s unwise to sit back and wait for inspiration to hit, it’s possible to apply your creative talents during more appropriate circumstances. If you’re sick and grumpy, it’s probably a bad time to brainstorm. But you won’t know unless you try
-Take advantage of the periods of time when your mind is clear and alert.
6. Exercise. Many believe that movement and creativity are closely linked. Going for a run or playing a round of golf can help get the creative juices flowing. If you need a brilliant solution, try moving your body more.
7. Stay up late. Removed from the stimulation and clutter of the day, it’s possible you’ll be more creative in the late hours of the evening. Another possibility is getting up an hour earlier and spending some time in the peace and quiet.
8. Listen to music. Einstein claimed listening to Mozart enhanced his creativity. Consider how different types of music impact your thoughts and emotions. Experiment.
9. Meditate or get a massage. Anything that relaxes your mind can be beneficial to your creativity. Perhaps you’re only a nap away from an earth-shattering idea.
10. Practice visualization. Visualize yourself in unique circumstance, but focus on more than the visual aspects. Hear, see, feel, and smell the situation, too.
Stretching your brain and using it in new ways can enhance your creativity.
There are many ways to double your creativity. It’s largely a matter of trial and error to see which methods work for you. Whether you want to write the perfect song or solve a problem at work, having a higher level of creativity can only help.
Many popular theories about creativity break the process into stages. The most mysterious of these intervals is incubation. Over the years, psychological studies and real life breakthroughs have come to suggest the best ways to use this step.
In general, creative thinking starts when you identify an issue and prepare to tackle it. Next, you hit an impasse and decide to take a break. Then, the answer comes to you while you’re taking a shower or getting up from a nap.
That productive rest period before the Eureka moment is called incubation.
Guiding Principles for Effective Incubating
Prepare carefully. This is the time to do your research and engage in critical thought. Figure out the challenge you want to solve and state it precisely.
Plan ahead. Incubation is more effective when you remind yourself that you’ll be returning to your dilemma later. Look forward to coming back feeling refreshed and full of new answers.
Slow down. Think about coming to a gradual stop rather than slamming on the brakes. Allow your body and mind to quiet down. Take a few deep breaths. Relax your neck and shoulders. Observe your thoughts without pursuing them.
Choose non-demanding activities. If you spend your break studying calculus or the Peloponnesian War, it’ll be difficult to get anything else done. Devote your time to routine tasks that require little thought.
Let your mind wander. Relax and let your thoughts flow. Free yourself from any expectations and see what happens.
Play more. Clowning around stimulates your imagination. Lighten up and have a good laugh.
Keep it brief. You may find that the results you want are already close at hand. Short breaks often work better than taking a whole day off. Take it easy for about a half hour.
Appreciate the value of sleep. REM sleep unleashes creativity in amazing ways. When you dream, you form associations and consolidate memories. You’re able to see things differently and spot new opportunities.
Practical Strategies to Encourage Incubation
Take a nap. Get work done while you sleep. You’re likely to perform better after you lie down for 15 or 20 minutes.
Keep a journal by your bed. If your day job keeps you on your feet, make the most of your overnight slumbers. Have a pen and paper handy to jot down your thoughts when you wake up in the wee hours.
Meditate daily. Meditation and sleep have similar effects on the brain. Carve out five minutes to sit down and calm your mind.
Play with kids. Cut back on weekend appointments so you can spend time goofing around with your kids. Toss a Frisbee or throw a tea party.
Get a dog. If you sometimes get too busy to remember to play, a dog will help you get back on track. They like sharing their toys.
Exercise outdoors. Connecting with nature always helps. Break out your ice skates or bathing suit depending on the season.
Develop a new hobby. Lots of great artists and scientists have engaged in pastimes that created an atmosphere conducive to their accomplishments. For example, Emily Dickinson baked cakes. You may get inspired doing needlework or repairing clocks.
Clean house. Just doing the laundry or vacuuming the living room carpet may reveal your inner talents. Find chores at work and home that keep your hands busy and your mind free.
When it comes to triggering creative insights, not all rest is created equal. If you want to boost your creativity, make time to play and harness the power of your dreams. You’ll be surprised with the incredible payoff.