Would you believe that being idle could make you more interesting? A recent study suggests that mental clutter stifles creativity while unburdening your mind encourages originality.
Researchers at an Israeli university looked at what happens when your mind is occupied with stray thoughts and nagging concerns. Subjects who were tasked with remembering 7 digits responded slowly, and gave boring conventional answers on a free association test. On the other hand, subjects assigned only 2 digits were quick to come up with innovative replies.
Learn how to liberate yourself from mental overload. Explore these tips for meditation and other intuitive experiences.
Reducing Mental Load Through Meditation
1. Face yourself. Some unconscious thoughts can be disturbing. Remember that bringing them to the surface is the first step in healing. Once you spot your baggage, you can develop more constructive habits.
2. Scan your body. Your body is an excellent guide to how to find your flow. Notice what conditions help you to lower your shoulders and unclench your jaw.
3. Focus on your breath. Simple breath work helps beginners and advanced practitioners to become more mindful. Notice the air as it enters your nostrils and travels through your body. Spend as much time exhaling as inhaling.
4. Develop clarity. Picture your mind as a pool of water. As the ripples settle, you can see under the surface. What’s going on when you put aside housework and utility bills? Connect with your aspirations and dreams.
5. Count your blessings. Engage with the present moment by noticing what you’re grateful for. Celebrate the taste of morning coffee and the sound of your children laughing.
6. Practice daily. Work your way up gradually and consistently. Even a few minutes of stillness can be beneficial.
Reducing Mental Load Through Other Activities
1. Write things down. Put your to do list onto paper so you can forget about it without worrying that you’ll miss your next dental appointment. Electronic versions are also fine if that’s more convenient.
2. Play games. Do you lose track of time when you’re planning your next move in Words with Friends? Taking a break from work can help you to return more refreshed.
3. Move around. Clear your mind with an afternoon run or visit to the gym. Physical exercise also burns calories and releases stress. 4. Use your hands. Repetitive movements can trigger breakthrough ideas as you tap into your unconscious. Knit a scarf or play piano. Chop vegetables for dinner or paint an accent wall in your bedroom.
5. Slow down. If running too many programs at a time makes your computer less 2 effective, think what excess multitasking does to your brain. Try to immerse yourself in a single task while you remember your purpose.
6. Appreciate nature. Nature is a powerful antidote to cognitive overload. Spend a moment enjoying bird songs and cool breezes.
7. Take a nap. If you can fall asleep easily during the day without disrupting the quality of your nightly slumbers, napping could be for you. Studies show that a brief sleep enhances memory formation. According to some research, people who nap also tend to live longer.
8. Turn off your phone. Some distractions are beyond your control, but you can opt out of being available around the clock for non-emergencies. Disconnect your devices for an hour each day. Give yourself quiet time to stimulate your creativity and think on a deeper level.
If pushing yourself to succeed is tiring you out, try thinking less. Allow your mind to become clear so your creativity and productivity can soar.
There are times when we all want to be more creative. We wish that there were something
we could do to express ourselves and create something beautiful at the same time.
If you're looking for ways to discover your creative side and release the artist within, here
are a few simple activities that you can do to get the creative energy flowing.
What type of personality do you have? Are you able to express that personality freely at
work or with friends? If not, tackle one of these projects and let your personality shine!
• Decorate your house, or at least one room, the way you like it. It doesn't
matter what anyone else tells you, just decorate your room, your way. This will help
you unleash your own self-expression.
• Dress the way you want. If tackling the house is too big of a job, then take a look at
your wardrobe. Dress how you want to dress. Trust yourself and trust your instincts.
You are dressing for you, not the world. Don't worry; you can express yourself while
still being professional at work.
You have to find ways in everything you do to allow creativity to flow through you. This can
be as simple as the way you sign a letter, mail an envelope, the way you dress or the house
that you live in.
Change Your Routine
If you're stuck in a rut, do things that take you out of your normal routine. It doesn't really
matter how stimulating your work or home life is, when you take a moment to step out of
your normal routine for some me time, you'll be open to new ideas and new thoughts.
How can you step out of your normal routine?
1. Read a book that you wouldn't usually pick up
2. Watch a movie that you wouldn't typically choose
3. Talk to a total stranger that you think looks interesting
4. Go shopping at a store that you have never been to. You don't necessarily have to buy
anything, just go in and look around.
5. Meet a friend you haven't seen for a long time.
Pay Attention to Your Surroundings
Another simple activity to increase your creativity is to pay attention to your surroundings.
You may laugh and think that is absolutely ridiculous after all, you see the same things and
people everyday, and you probably even drive the same route to and from work, too. But
try to take a few moments and actually pay attention to your surroundings. See things the
way they are and not the way you think they are.
• Take a different route home from work. Discover shortcuts or new
• Sit on a park bench and people watch. Think of stories for each person or couple
that you see.
• Have you ever really paid attention to the people in your office? What about the person
that sits right across from you? Take five or ten minutes and take notice. Don't stare, but
pay attention. You just may find that other people can be quite the source of inspiration
Use Your Imagination
If you have a favorite poem or story that you loved as a kid, sit down and start writing that
story, but make the changes that you always thought should be there. What were Jack and
Jill really doing on their way up the hill? If they were fetching a pail of water, what was the
You don't have to re-invent the wheel, simply make the everyday your own.
Increasing your creativity starts in small, simple ways. Your life is filled with opportunities
for you to test your creative energies but it's up to you to take action!
Do you feel like you lack imagination? Do you struggle to create or to find solutions to the challenges in your life? It’s possible you’re suffering from a few creativity-blocking obstacles. By identifying the obstacles in your path, you can find ways to work around them.
Eliminate the creativity blockers from your life:
1. A cluttered mind makes creativity a challenge. Have you ever noticed that your best ideas come when you’re alone? You’re either being quiet or doing something very routine, like driving on a low-traffic road or taking a walk. It’s hard to get the creative juices flowing when you have too much going on.
2. You don’t prime your creative mechanism. Try doing a different creative activity for a few minutes. If you’re trying to write a book, try creating and humming a new song for a few minutes. Legos, Lincoln Logs, tinker toys, modeling clay, crayons and brain teasers are other options.
3. Stress. You might have time to yourself, but still be too distracted to be creative. When your adrenaline is flowing, and you’re dealing with the stresses of life, creativity can be hard to find.
4. A narrow focus can limit your ability to find new solutions. Keep an open mind and consider all the possibilities. Avoid assuming you know where the general location of the answer to your challenge is. The best solution might be something you’ve never considered.
5. You don’t believe you are a creative person. You’ve used your creativity countless times in the past. From dealing with an unpleasant boss to keeping a moody child occupied. Believe you’re a creative person and you’ll prove yourself correct.
6. You never get started. Creative endeavors can be intimidating. Procrastination is one of the primary enemies to creativity. Set aside time each day to be creative, even if you’re convinced you’re wasting your time. You never know when your creative genius will strike.
7. Fear of failure. The possibility of failure can stop anyone in their tracks. Think of all the times you failed in the past and came through unscathed. Creativity feels risky, but it’s all in your head.
8. You’re stuck in a rut. It’s not easy to come up with ideas in the same old space. Get outdoors or at least move yourself into a space you don’t normally use, like a spare bedroom or a conference room.
9. You insist on doing it alone. Fresh minds bring fresh ideas. Ask others for their input. You’re likely to find that the ideas of others trigger your own new ideas. Get some help! Who is the most creative person you know? They should be your first call.
10. You don’t have enough experience. You may have been a very creative child, but if you’re not flexing your creative muscles on a regular basis, you might be out of practice. Spend a few minutes being creative each day and you’ll enhance your creative skills.
Creativity is a powerful skill and ability to possess. The most creative people in the world have a huge advantage over the rest of us.
If you’re struggling to be creative, it’s likely that an obstacle or two is standing in your way. Overcome your obstacles and use your creativity to your advantage.