7 Unexpected Ways To Stimulate Creative Thinking…

7 Unexpected Ways To Stimulate Creative Thinking

Most of us forget that creativity is our natural right and inclination. Too often, we assume that it is a special gift bestowed upon a lucky few. In reality, creativity is simply part of being human. Whether or not you happen to be a professional artist, creativity can and should be part of your life. If you are stuck in a rut at home or work, need some artistic inspiration, or just want to see the world in a different way, it’s time to stimulate your brain!

Here are a few ways to kick your creativity into gear and generate some new ideas:

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1) Start a Regular Mindfulness Practice

At first glance, you might not see the link between mindfulness and creativity. But when you consider that mindfulness is about staying in the moment, it begins to make sense. After all, when we are in a state of flow – not worrying about the past or the future – we are more likely to enter a creative headspace. Mindfulness also quietens self-criticism, which is the enemy of creativity. You can start right now with a few simple mindfulness exercises. Just a few minutes every day will soon help you feel calmer, less stressed, and more open to new ideas. You don’t have to sit in uncomfortable positions or say a mantra!

2) Work on a Project with a Trusted Friend

Maybe you have the beginnings of an idea, but can’t quite push yourself to make the leap into the unknown. Why not ask a friend to help out? You could just talk through your ideas, or you could do something really special and suggest a collaborative project. Writing a story, creating a painting, or planting a garden with one of your closest friends can deepen your bond and leave you with many happy memories. When either of you starts to run out of steam, you’ll be able to pick one another up. There’s nothing like support and encouragement to fuel creativity. If the two create something really amazing, it could be the start of a beautiful creative partnership.

3) Ask Yourself, “What would My Mentor Do?”

Sometimes, we get too stuck in our heads and can only see things from our perspective. Shake things up by pretending to see the world from someone else’s point of view. Think of a trusted mentor or teacher. It doesn’t matter whether you saw them hours ago or haven’t been in contact for years. Now, imagine asking them for advice. Have a conversation in your mind. What does this person say? They will probably tell you to try a totally new approach to your problem! Of course, their answers will be coming from your own mind, but that’s the magic of this approach. It proves that you don’t need anyone to tell you what to do or how to think. Deep down, you know how to be creative.

4) Experiment with Essential Oils

Used properly, essential oils clear away stress, reduce anxiety, and promote clear thinking. Once you learn how to use them safely, you’ll be astonished by their effects. They stimulate the brain, triggering the release of relaxing, feel-good chemicals that can lift your mood within seconds. For example, peppermint oil will improve your concentration and general alertness, making you more open to creative possibilities. Dilute it with carrier oil according to the manufacturer’s instructions, and rub a few drops on your wrists, forehead, and behind your ears. Diffusing oils in your workspace can also give your creativity a lift. Tangerine and other citrus oils are known for their stimulating properties.

5) Tap Into Your Subconscious Mind

As Freud so famously explained, most of our thoughts, memories, and dreams are hidden away in the subconscious. When we are willing and able to explore this aspect of ourselves, we enjoy a renewed burst of creativity. You won’t know what amazing ideas you have bubbling away until you let down your guard. Free writing can help you discover the contents of your subconscious. Every morning, immediately upon waking, turn to a new page in a notebook and write down everything that comes to mind. You don’t have to show anyone your writings. They are for your eyes only.

You could also start a dream journal. You don’t need any expertise to interpret dreams; quite often, their meaning becomes apparent with a bit of reflection. Getting into the habit of analyzing your dreams doesn’t just aid your self-development, but also gets you in the habit of spotting patterns. This will aid your creativity.

6) Pass Your Skills and Ideas on to Others

Some people jealously guard their ideas and skills. They fear that if they make their ideas too public, or pass on their “tricks of the trade”, someone else will come along and steal their glory. This is ego at work. In reality, the universe holds an endless, abundant supply of inspiration. The happiest, most fulfilled creative people trust that they will always have plenty of ideas to go around. In fact, they actively enjoy inspiring others because it brings out the best in themselves. If you can, teach someone else a skill, and see it as an act of service to them and yourself. When you guide others, you will start to see the world from their point of view, which can be fantastic for your personal creativity.

7) Give Yourself a Limit

Some people find that imposing a limit on a task gives them a renewed sense of direction that increases their creativity. For example, an artist may decide to paint a picture using only three shades of green, or a writer may set themselves the task of writing a complete story in only 600 words. Of course, you can always break through the self-imposed limit when the creative juices start flowing – but starting from a place of challenge can focus the mind and inspire new ways of thinking. Why not work your way through each idea over the course of a week? In seven days’ time, you are sure to be feeling more creative than ever before.

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Kristin Savage

Kristin Savage nourishes, sparks and empowers using the magic of a word. She does her voodoo regularly on the PickWriters…

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