Tapping into Creativity: 7 Tricks
Oftentimes, people are labeled as creative, as though it is an innate trait exclusive to artists, musicians and other go-against-the-grain thinkers. While most artists are born with a naturally imaginative brain, there are many ways tapping into creativity can be accomplished.
Creativity is the plethora of vibrantly colored paint on the brush we use to craft our worlds. It makes the mundane bearable and opens us up to innovative ways of thinking and doing. Its benefits are universal, for everyone from the entrepreneur to the seasoned business owner, as it goes hand in hand with the saying, “work smarter, not harder.” So without further ado, here are 7 tips for tapping into creativity.
1. Day Dream
Most teachers and teachers for grown-ups (bosses) will scold a student/employee with a glazed look in their eye and a tilted head. But not so fast. Wandering thoughts will often go to fantastic places they don’t usually visit on an average day. Just allowing yourself a few minutes to be open to the pure, unadulterated thoughts that fly through your cerebellum is a way of tapping into creativity. Sitting mired in paper work all day leaves little room for ingenious ideas, so, use your lunch break, relax and dream a little dream. And, for the love of all things natural, disconnect from technology. Creativity tends to come in moments of quiet and the constant fluorescent light emitted from tech gadgets keeps your brain wired even after you’ve disconnected.
2. Don’t Judge Yourself into a Corner
When you have these creative ideas, you will be tempted to critique them. Sometimes it can get brutal. Creative people have a tendency to be hard on themselves as artistic thinking is usually a completely solo process whereupon you are responsible for the output. But to improve creative thinking you must allow the ideas to flow until you want to use one. Reward yourself just for the process alone. If you harshly shut down every idea you have, soon you will have none. The idea of perfection might swing its sharp, jagged tail but be confident in your ideas and abilities and a sprinkling of ideas might turn into a thunder storm.
3. Develop a Childlike Sensibility
No, we’re not telling you to leave the dishes in the sink and throw a tantrum when your co-worker borrows your stapler. What I am saying is that children are often very creative because they see the world with untainted, non-jaded eyes. They appreciate new sights and experiences and participate with a sort of whimsy. They see that those empty moving boxes are a three-story fort and that garden is home to fairies, frogs and princesses. Cultivating wonder and awe is a means of tapping into creativity by showing you that something is so much more than what you see on the surface.
4. Stop, Drop, Collaborate!
Though creative inspiration definitely arrives during moments of silence, something can also be said for moments of boisterous brainstorming. When thinking up a new concept, people can play ideas off of each other which feed into more grandiose concepts until Franken-idea has been born. And having people agree with your suggestions really boosts the confidence you need to delve deeper. On the flip side, do not crawl into your shell if they don’t respond or don’t agree. It doesn’t mean it’s a bad idea or that you are not creative, it just means it’s not right for the subject at hand.
5. Fuel Your Mind with Brain Food
You might think that what you eat only has an effect on your body but it also acts on your brain, for better or worse. Sugar has been proven to slow your thought process. An abundance of red meat and butter also affect the brain cells as women who ate foods high in saturated fat scored lower on memory and brain function tests, according to a Harvard study published in the Annals of Neurology. On the flip side, there are many foods that help us maintain a healthy brain. Blueberries, aka “brainberries”, help protect the brain from oxidative stress and improve both learning capacity and motor skills. Wild salmon, nuts and seeds, avocados and whole grains are other proven brain boosters which can help when tapping into creativity.
6. Om Your Way to New Ideas
Meditation is not just reserved for yogis and the Dalai Lama. It is a wonderful practice that should be utilized, especially in the constantly connected technological sphere we live in today. It is proven to lower stress and opens your brain up to tapping into creativity in several ways. It improves concentration through focus, manifests patience, calms your racing mind and provides clarity. What’s more, the peace and quiet provides for insight (a big precursor to creativity) and perspective, putting the big picture into focus.
7. Go, See, Do!
We won’t harp on the importance of travel because not everyone has the time or resources to take exotic trips around the world. But, it is important to go out into the world every day and savor what you see and what you experience. Creativity almost always draws inspiration from real life. You never know what great idea will hit you just by looking around.