Do you often find yourself struggling to get into a creative mood when it’s time to tap into your inner creativity?
If this sounds like you, you’re not alone. Everyone wants to improve their creative abilities. However, there is this notion in our society that creativity can only come from a select few people or that you are either in possession of it or you are not. However, being creative is something that benefits everyone, and it is an innate part of humanity — in other words, everyone has the capacity to exercise creativity.
When it comes down to it, creativity is produced from a combination of intuition and feeling. If we put in the effort to cultivate both of these aspects of ourselves, we will not only be more in tune with the world around us, but we will be able to increase our creativity as well. In order to create the time and space necessary to generate more creativity, you need to eliminate a significant portion of the unnecessary “noise” that interferes with your day-to-day activities and find the right mindfulness practice that works for you.
We may be able to solve some of the mysteries of creativity if we change our strategy and make mindfulness a consistent practice. In this article, we’ve put together a list of 9 mindful practices you can utilize to boost your creativity and keep your creative mind active.
What Exactly Is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness involves bringing your attention purposefully to your internal and external experiences in the present moment. Allowing your thoughts, feelings, and sensations to come and go without judging them or feeling compelled to do anything with them is the goal of this practice.
Additionally, mindfulness entails accepting whatever enters your awareness in the present moment with a peaceful attitude. It’s not so much about accomplishing a final objective as it is about gaining a deeper understanding of yourself by delving deeper into your experiences and becoming more self-aware of the things that drive you, motivate you, stymie you, and impede you from moving forward.
As your mindfulness practice progresses, you will gain a deeper comprehension of the ways in which your thoughts, feelings, and sensations interact to shape not only your state of mind but also the way you react to your external environment.
The Many Benefits of Mindfulness
The practice of mindfulness has been found to alter the physiology of the body and the brain in ways that are beneficial to improving strength, healing, and protection. The practice of mindfulness is associated with an enormous number of advantages, all of which have been demonstrated through scientific studies.
Here are just a handful of ways that mindfulness can improve your quality of life:
Mindfulness has been shown to reduce the physiological signs of stress and increase the brain’s ability to cope with the effects of stress. The way that mindfulness accomplishes this is by enhancing the connection in the region of the brain that is responsible for attention and executive control (dorsolateral prefrontal cortex).
Maintains Emotional Balance
Emotional circumstances have the potential to throw any one of us off balance. The severity or the length of time that these circumstances last is what causes the damage. By helping to keep the emotional brain in check, the practice of mindfulness can facilitate faster recovery from emotionally trying experiences.
Alleviates Physical Pain
It has been demonstrated that practicing mindfulness can dramatically lessen pain without stimulating the opioid system in the body, which lowers the risk of experiencing addictive adverse effects. This is critical for anyone who feels continuous physical pain, but especially for individuals who have built up a tolerance to opiate-based medications.
Improves Mental Health in Teens
The practice of mindfulness has been shown to alleviate depressive symptoms and prevent future episodes of the condition while providing teenagers with protection against the development of stress, anxiety, or the onset of depression later in life.
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How Mindfulness Can Spark Creativity
Through the practice of mindfulness, we can identify our own ‘blind spots’ in terms of patterns of thinking, feeling, and behaving, which can help to broaden our awareness of the world that exists within us.
This enhanced knowledge of oneself can lead to improvements in decision-making, academic accomplishment, and overall life satisfaction, as well as a reduction in emotional and interpersonal difficulties. These self-improvements ultimately allow you to have less clutter blocking the creative flow in your mind, leading your creative abilities to flourish.
In addition to the internal creative benefits, mindfulness practices also help you better identify things in the world around you. After all, when you are mindful of yourself, you also become more mindful of the world around you. This increased awareness of your surroundings will help you draw from new inspiration.
Now that we’ve covered the benefits and how they’re related to your creativity, it’s time to discuss the core of this piece — 9 simple mindfulness practices that will put you in a creative mood no matter where you are.
1. Keep a Journal
Keeping a journal in your life not only has positive effects on your body and mind, but it also makes synchronicity more likely to occur in your everyday experiences. The practice of gaining an awareness of and an eye for spotting patterns of meaning is known as synchronicity.
For example — have you ever purchased a new pair of shoes and then discovered that you keep running into the same pair of shoes everywhere? The universe did not produce any additional footwear, you simply started recognizing something that had always been present.
Journaling to increase mindfulness should follow a few criteria, which include the following:
- You should compose them by hand, using a pen and paper.
- Create them in a way that resembles a stream of mind.
- Try not to think about what you’re writing.
- Avoid discussing them with other individuals.
You can also welcome more meaning into your life by focusing your attention and writing in a journal. When this occurs, you have a heightened awareness of the relevant symbols and exchanges that occur throughout your day. The key to creative thinking is to be able to capture this web of significance, and keeping a journal can assist you in seeing it.
It may sound incredibly rudimentary, but breathing is a great way you can practice mindfulness and set your brain up to think creatively. To begin, make yourself comfortable and begin to take in five healthy, deep breaths as slowly as possible. Check to see that your stomach is moving up and down in response to your breathing. Be conscious of what is going on in your body as the breath enters and as it exits your body.
If wandering thoughts enter your brain, acknowledge them. Allow them to be, and then release their hold on you. If you find that your mind has wandered astray, simply recognize that it has done so, acknowledge the direction in which it traveled, and return your attention back to your breath in a gentle manner.
Maintain your presence in the moment without feeling the desire to rush anything or go on to the next section of your day. This can be challenging, but you have to keep telling yourself that it’s okay no matter what occurs.
Have you ever been stuck on a problem for days on end? No matter what you do, you keep going in circles and become frustrated by your inability to solve this problem.
The best way to get unstuck when you’re stuck in a creative rut is to go for a walk. Walking makes you slow down, which improves your ability to pay attention to your surroundings. The world around you can become unrefined expressions of creative potential during a mindful walk.
It has also been demonstrated through scientific research that walking outside can boost one’s memory and attention span. Additionally, walking is simply beneficial to your health in general — it’s a low-impact activity that can help lower your cholesterol, enhance your heart health, and keep diabetes under control.
Walking, at its most fundamental level, delivers the impression of moving forward, which is the ideal remedy for all of those times when you feel stuck, trapped, or unsure how to progress.
Not only does meditation help reduce stress, but it also encourages creative thought. It makes your mind more open to new ideas, it makes your focus better, and it makes your resilience stronger.
The “fight or flight” response in your body can be replaced with a more focused state by practicing meditation, which can help you better manage the effects of stress. Sitting down to conduct the kind of in-depth work that’s necessary for creativity is hard to accomplish if you’re in a confrontational attitude and always anxious about something. Meditation helps you get rid of the mental clutter caused by the rest of your life, making more room in your head for creative endeavors.
It simply takes approximately five minutes of meditation to get the benefits of increased creativity. No matter how hectic your day is, carving out five minutes for a meditation session can help you immensely.
5. Repeat Affirmations
When you repeat a mantra, you are able to repress the default mode of your brain, which makes room for a mode of thinking that is calm and centered. Brain imaging techniques have shown that silently repeating a single phrase results in a measurable “quieting of the mind” and fewer ideas being generated by the brain as a whole.
There is an abundance of material available online for mantras that you can read to yourself on a daily basis; nevertheless, it may be beneficial to write your own. Create affirmations that describe your ideal self, and write them down. It is beneficial to think of this ideal version as a different person altogether. Create a mental picture of that individual and jot down all of the admirable traits you associate with them.
Read those characteristics aloud to yourself every day, but recast them in the first person. Over time, your brain will eventually accept these mantras as fact, and your confidence will improve along with your ability to think creatively.
6. Defeat Your Critical Inner Voice
You have to learn how to win the battle against your critical inner voice if you want to think more creatively. If you let it rule you, you will torture yourself with the act of creating something new, and you will never be able to devote the necessary effort and time to advance your artistic abilities.
You may silence your critical inner voice by using your creativity to fight back against them and take away the control that they have over you. They are not “you” but rather something else altogether. You should never pay attention to the negative things they have to say because they are not true.
7. Nourish Your Body Mindfully
Eating is another thing that we tend to perform without much thought, which is likely due to the fact that we frequently eat while engaging in other activities, such as conversing, thinking, reading, scrolling through email, or watching television. In order to successfully practice mindfulness while eating, you must give your whole attention to the act of eating itself, free from any other distractions.
Smell the meal, touch the food, and feel it in your stomach at the same time. Be completely present while you eat, and don’t pay any attention to the other people around you, the discussion, or the things you have to do after you’re done. You may even find that writing down these thoughts in a journal while eating fuels you with creative juices.
8. Listen to Music
Listening to music is another excellent way to shift your brain into thinking more creatively. Though there is a benefit in silence for some people as far as productivity goes, many people feel much more creative after listening to music they thoroughly enjoy.
Allow yourself to relax while you listen, and focus on the music notes or perhaps the lyrics if you’ve chosen music with vocals. Ponder how the music makes you feel, what the artist may have been feeling that led to the creation of the music, and get those gears turning. Since the goal of listening to this music is to think creatively, not to buckle down and focus, make sure you aren’t worrying about the tasks at hand that you need to complete.
9. Wash Your Dishes
If you’re raising your eyebrows at this suggestion, bear with us. We admit dishwashing probably isn’t going to make anyone’s list of the top five sensual experiences, but if you perform it carefully, you might be able to engage senses that aren’t usually invited to the party.
Because of the repetitive nature of the activity, it is simple to concentrate on the five sensations that are present at the time: the fragrance of the soap, the sensation of the hot water on your skin, the weight of the dishes in your hand, the sights, and the noises. According to research, washing dishes mindfully can both improve feelings of calm and reduce feelings of stress.
Find What’s Right for Your Creative Brain
Unfortunately, there is no single solution to overcoming creative ruts for everyone. Examine each of these approaches for yourself to see which one best fits your needs. It’s possible that some of them will offer you more mileage, while others won’t do much for your creative process at all — and that’s okay.
Every creative person has their own process, and part of the fun is figuring out what works best for you. These are only some suggestions to get you going in the right direction. Once you begin, you’ll be on your way to finding the perfect solution for you.