How to boost your creativity
As featured in the 2018 summer edition of Dawn Breslin's inspiring Harmonizing Life magazine.
Summer is the time when nature maximises on its potential and lives life to the full.
And you might be feeling at your productivity peak right now too. But if your life is turning into one big to-do list, or you’re in need of some inspiration to keep your momentum going, getting creative could be just the boost you need.
Here are 4 simple ways to tap into your own creative energy.
1. Find your canvas
If you’re thinking ‘I’m not creative’, don’t worry. You’re in good company. Our society tends to value creative production over creative process, so if we’re not producing works of art or writing hit singles - many of us feel that we’re just not creative.
I was sure I’d lost my creativity a few years back, when a great keynote speaker called Gary Bertwistle convinced me otherwise. He said that everyone is creative, we just use a different type of canvas.
So what’s your creative canvas? Is it the way you paint your nails? How you cook? How you decorate your home, solve problems at work, entertain the kids, or arrange nights out with friends?
Make yourself a list of all the areas in your life where you use the gift of your unique creative talents. Then ask yourself what you can learn about your approach in those areas that you could apply to new creative projects you want to try.
For an extra reminder, grab a little canvas (you could find them cheaply from bargain shops) and write “I am a creative ...” and add your list of creativity. Display your canvas somewhere you’ll see it each day to remind yourself that you ARE creative.
2. Feed your brain
We are all naturally creative, but we can boost our abilities too. The brain is an organ that behaves a bit like a muscle, so it needs regular exercise and stimuli to perform at its best.
Doing simple things like taking a different route to work, listening to a new type of music, or taking a course in something you know nothing about will all give your brain new thoughts to work with.
You can also challenge yourself to get creative by completing everyday tasks in new ways; like making lunch without using your dominant hand, or using different vocabulary when you communicate.
Studies also show that we tend to be more creative when we’re relaxed and happy - so if you need some fresh ideas, try doing something you love first.
3. Keep an idea journal
Have you ever noticed that you come up with your best ideas in the most unlikely places? Our creative brains tend to favour times of relaxation, as that gives us the headspace we need for our thoughts to roam free.
Many people find they have their best ideas in the shower, when they exercise, or when they travel.
Get to know when and where your brain gets most creative, and then make sure you have a notebook or your phone handy to record your ideas. Don’t judge or edit them: there’s no such thing as a bad idea. You don’t need to take action on each and every thought, but you may feel called to grow one or more into your next project.
Last but definitely not least: don’t put yourself under pressure. Creativity is interchangeable with imagination and inventiveness; it’s about setting your mind free from the patterns and behaviours you usually follow. There’s no right or wrong, so ENJOY it!
Try an activity where you can play, break the rules and make loads of ‘mistakes’. Don’t focus on being good at something, or producing a great work of art to post on Instagram. Go with your gut and notice what you notice about yourself.
Think of it as taking your brain on holiday, and remember to enjoy the journey and not just the destination.
It’s amazing what can happen when you give your brain permission to play.
You can grab yourself a free copy of Harmonizing Life Magazine here: https://bit.ly/2j9XjiF