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.
If you have a career that requires creativity or you’ve ever needed a creative solution to a problem, you’re aware of how challenging it can be to be creative on command. Creativity seems to come and go with little rhyme or reason. Have you ever wished you could proactively boost your creativity? You can!
Like any other skill, the ability to increase your creativity gets better with practice and experience. Get started today and you’ll find yourself being more creative in the future.
These strategies will encourage your creativity to blossom:
Work in a new environment. It’s amazing how much a change of scenery can help! Try working in the library or a coffee shop. Rearrange your office and change the view. When you do the same things in the same place, you’ll tend to think the same thoughts.
-Turn off your autopilot and expose your senses to new stimuli.
Pretend you’re helping someone else find solutions. Many people find that they have more creative ideas when helping others solve their challenges.
-Pretend you’re helping a friend and let the ideas flow. Depersonalizing the issue seems to free up a part of the mind that’s otherwise stifled.
Brainstorm in pairs. Have you ever noticed that you and a friend or coworker find more creative ideas between the two of you rather than when brainstorming in a group? Break away from the group and pair up with just one other person.
-When a large group brainstorms, most of the group members lack a sense of accountability. It’s too easy to be passive.
Try being creative at a different time of the day. If you normally write in the morning, try the evening. Try staying up extra late or getting up extra early for a change. If you’ve been feeling stuck at 9 AM for a while, it’s time try a different hour of the day. Set your alarm clock for 3 AM and force yourself to work for 20 minutes.
Try some music. Few things can change your mood and get those creative juices flowing faster than a great song. Try different types of music and see what works. Avoid sticking to only your favorites. Branch out and listen to something new.
Meditate. Meditation is useful tool for giving your mind a well-needed break. You’ll find your thoughts start to become reenergized. Simple and elegant solutions frequently reveal themselves after a short period of meditation.
-Meditation requires a little practice, but it’s easier to learn than you may think. Meditate on your challenges and be open to the thoughts that arise.
Stay hydrated. Get a drink of water! Your body is mostly water. Even a small degree of dehydration causes all sorts of biological processes to go haywire. If you’re feeling stuck, take a minute to drink a large glass of water.
-Remember to drink throughout the day and the evening.
Go outside. Try getting outside for a little exercise. The late John Denver frequently commented that all of his best songs were written immediately after an exhilarating, outdoor activity. He frequently skied, drove racecars, and flew experimental airplanes.
-You may lack a plan, but you can still get outside and do something stimulating!
Creativity doesn’t automatically happen on command. There are times when creativity is needed, but it’s nowhere to be found. Add these tips to your creativity pool the next time you’re feeling uninspired. If one strategy fails to yield the results you desire, try another. With practice, you can learn to unleash your creativity on demand.