‘Creativity is contagious. Pass it on’ Albert Einstein
The World Economic Forum says creativity is one of the top 10 skills required for the future workplace. It’s is a useful tool to explore new and innovative ways of doing things, but there’s an added benefit to your mental health. Neuroscientists have discovered that various creative activities can be beneficial and boost your mood.
When you’re being creative, your brain releases dopamine, which is a natural antidepressant. A recent study in the Journal of Positive Psychology indicated that engaging in a creative activity just once a day can lead to a more positive state of mind.
The world is changing at such a rapid pace and lack of control can make people feel anxious. Keeping your creative juices flowing can help you combat this, embrace change and feel more in control. Expressing your innate creativity will help keep you motivated about the future.
Creativity can also help you feel more optimistic and resilient, because you keep an open mind ready to explore possibilities. It stops you getting stuck in a rut and feeling trapped and despondent. Here are my tips to let creativity take you on an exciting adventure!
1. Use your imagination
Your imagination has no boundaries and this is the playground for creativity. Creating space where you can disconnect and shut out external stimulation and impulses can help you to dream up all sorts of ideas.
Have a go at putting all your mobile gadgets aside and turning off any music and the television and just sit for a while in silence. See what comes to your mind and just allow your imagination to take you on a journey of discovery.
2. Identify your creative time
Chronobiology is the science of good timing and indicates that personal peak performance is hardwired into your DNA. This inner clock is embedded inside your brain. The precisely engineered timekeeper is called your circadian pacemaker or biological clock.
Keeping a log and working out what time you are at your best for coming up with new ideas is very helpful in knowing when you will produce your most creative work.
3. Commit to continual learning
Adopt a lifelong learning mentality and cultivate a growth mindset. You are never too old or too wise. Open your mind and seek out new ways to test yourself. Find people you consider to be experts in a particular field and study them.
You can learn so much from reading, learning new languages, watching videos, travelling, and even the simplest conversations. Everyone you meet can teach you a new perspective if you’re interested enough to ask them questions. Take the time to listen to what they’re willing to share with you.
4. Avoid energy drains
Energy is fundamental to creativity. When you are in a creative mode, it’s important to avoid anything that drains your energy. This could include clutter, conflict, fear, stress, and negative people. Each will have an impact on your creativity and some people can be energy zappers.
When you work out the frequency and intensity of any of these in your daily life you’ll be able to identify and eliminate them as drains and barriers to creativity. Seek out ways to boost your energy and especially make a point to hang out with people who have an energising effect on your mood. These people I refer to as radiators instead of drains.
5. Plan to do things differently
We are creatures of habit and so much of what we do is routine. This can get you stuck in a bit of a rut and you will miss opportunities for new stimulation if you’re not aware of this. Seeing new things can help to spark new ideas.
Messing up your routine and consciously seeking out ways to do things differently by exploring new environments, taking different routes and challenging your daily habits will help fuel your creativity.
Creativity is an inborn talent of all human beings and one that can also be developed. When you face challenges and you are not able to solve them in a conventional way, it’s time to get creative.
About Liggy Webb
Liggy Webb is an award winning and bestselling author, presenter and international consultant specialising in life skills. She’s also the founding director of The Learning Architect, an international consortium of life skills specialists. Liggy is recognised as a thought leader on personal resilience and wellbeing and works with a wide range of businesses helping people to be more resilient, agile and healthy in a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world.
Her current book, Resilience: How To Cope When Everything Around You Keeps Changing, is a practical and accessible guide for coping with change and offers advice on how to recover and flourish through challenging times. The guiding principles in the book have recently been televised for a series with the BBC world service due out in 2019.