What are the first thoughts that spring to mind when you think of the word ‘creativity’? Perhaps it is images of artists and their famous works, such as Da Vinci’s ‘Mona Lisa’, Michelangelo’s sculpture ‘David’, Mozart’s ‘The Marriage of Figaro’ or Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’? Or maybe it’s that macaroni and finger paint picture on your fridge that your niece made for you?
Most people identify with creativity as being specifically related to the arts. Things like paintings, sculptures, music, theatre, dance, literature or poetry. Yet the definition of creativity is actually much broader than that. Creativity is the use of imagination or original ideas in the creation of something new, which also includes lateral thinking, or the ability to think outside of the box.
Creativity is something that you are tapping into when you are expressing yourself artistically, but also when you are figuring out ingenious ways to solve problems. For example, you might need to get a little creative in order to cook dinner using the limited ingredients in your fridge, or when pulling together a last minute costume for a fancy dress party, or overcoming an obstacle you have in relation to a project you are working on.
Being creative isn’t just about being a talented artist, or musician, it is about tapping into your imagination and working with different ideas to see what is possible. The more creative you can be in life, the more opportunities will open up to you.
The good news is that whether you feel creative or not, you have creativity within you. Though, sometimes we can use a little inspiration to help get the creative juices flowing.
Here are 10 ways in which you can unlock and inspire your own inner creativity, to help you be more productive and enjoy living life to the fullest.
Be brave – You are the architect of your own life, you make the choices that determine how you experience the world around you. So be brave and step outside of your comfort zone, try something new on a regular basis. There is nothing wrong with loving what you love and doing what you know you enjoy, however sometimes being a creature of habit can hinder your creative side. Challenge yourself to try something fun and exciting, even if it may feel a little scary. Such as being the first to step out onto the dance floor, introducing yourself to strangers, or getting up on stage to sing karaoke. Anything that requires you to (safely) step outside of your comfort zone will tap into the braver version of yourself and help activate and inspire your inner creativity.
Learn something new – Learning a new skill, such as a language, an instrument, a sport or even a card trick, is an excellent way to stimulate your brain and inspire your creative side. By challenging yourself to learn a new skill, you are activating your brain by teaching it to grasp new concepts and formulate new ideas.
Relax your comparisons – If you look hard enough you will probably always find someone who is a little better or someone who is a little worse than you at specific tasks. This is okay, in fact, it is just part of life. Accepting this and allowing yourself to let go of the need to constantly compare yourself to others will not only reduce your stress levels, it will also help you become a more content and grounded version of yourself. You are a unique individual, living your own life. Focus on you. Encourage yourself to try new things, to take risks and stop worrying about what others might think. If you can start to do this, you will not only find you begin to enjoy life more, you will also notice your creativity begin to blossom.
Cultivate Mindfulness – Mindfulness is a practice that has been used for thousands of years, within many different cultures. It has since been recognized as a technique that can not only enhance the quality of your life, but also enhance your focus and productivity. Which is why so many corporate companies like Google, Yahoo and Apple are offering their staff mindfulness courses as a means to both boost morale and stimulate efficiency and productivity. There are numerous ways in which you can practice mindfulness. Mindfulness based meditations are the most common form and there are literally thousands to choose from.
Motivate Yourself – Motivation is important in the creation of new thoughts and ideas. If you feel enthusiastic about something, you are much more likely to be creative and productive. There are numerous ways in which you may find motivation, such as uplifting music, working in a stimulating and conducive environment, or being inspired by uplifting books, films or art exhibitions. So consider what it is that inspires you and work out ways you can include more of that into your life.
Challenge Your Mind – You mind, like your body, needs to be exercised on a regular basis. It’s like that old saying: “If you don’t use it, you will lose it!” If you don’t challenge your mind, it will become lazy and less active, making it very hard to be creative. Activities that force your brain to work, such as chess, crosswords and sudoku, or learning a language or an instrument, are all ways in which you can exercise your brain and help keep it active and stimulate creativity.
Exercise And Eat Well – If your body is unhealthy or run down, then your mind will not be working at its optimal level, making creativity, or just thinking in general, a lot more challenging. By eating a healthy balanced diet, one that is rich in fresh and unprocessed foods, as well as exercising regularly, you are helping ensure you brain has all the power it needs to be able to inspire imagination and think outside the box.
Embrace Your Inner Child – That fun loving imagination that we have in us from a small child, often gets tucked away as we grow into adults, as we become weighed down with the responsibilities of adulting. However, it is never truly gone. By allowing yourself to be a little silly, and have a little fun, you can help reawaken your inner child. A great way to do this is by actually spending time with children, they have a really unique and often fun way of viewing the world around them!
Explore Nature – There is something about being out in nature that is grounding and calming, both of which are qualities that help inspire a connection with our inner self and stimulate creativity. There is so much beauty and diversity to be explored in the world, so make some time to get out in nature, breathe the fresh air, get a little exercise and allow your creativity to become inspired.
Meditate – Meditating is an excellent way to relax, unwind and reduce stress, which is the bane of creativity! There are numerous types of meditations, including guided visualization meditation, which are an excellent way to not only help you relax but also unlock your imagination and inspire creativity. There is a huge range of meditation styles for you to choose from, many of which are completely free, so shop around until you find the ones that work for you.
These 10 lifestyle choices will not only help you unlock and inspire your inner creativity, encouraging productivity and imagination, they will also help you gain the most out of each and every moment of your life. So become inspired and get creative!