We are all creative, and innovation is a quality that we all have within us, one way or the other. Creativity involves the development of something new or the reinvention of something that already exists to make it more useful or interesting. Creativity can also be the ability to see things in ways that others don’t — to think beyond what you’ve been taught, to ask questions and to challenge the status quo.
Some of us have our imaginative abilities “inborn” and can easily be creative. But if you are like me, expressing creativity takes time and cultivation. The important thing to note is that we can all be creative. You just have to take steps to extract it from within you. Here are some practical tips to enhance your creativity.
Tip #1: Change your perspective
To boost your creativity, think outside the box. When you are able to look at situations from different points of view, you automatically become more creative. Consider all factors that are affected by your problem or your project. Try to break it down into several elements then shuffle them around. Think of what would happen if one item was replaced. This aspect is important because it helps you remove any attachments to an idea or perspective that can hinder creativity.
Tip #2: Surround yourself with creative people
Simply hanging out with poets, musicians, writers and artists will help you spark your creativity. When you interact with a new circle, you gain insight into their unique perspectives. Strike up a conversation and find inspiration from there. Your mirror neurons will wake up and being in a creative environment will refresh your creative mind.
Tip #3: Move!
Mental movement like brainstorming can be the raw material for creativity. Picture in your mind how different situations would continue even if you solved the same problem. Let your imagination go wild and know that diversity is very helpful for fostering creativity.
Include physical movement — running, swimming, dance or even Yoga postural practices. As your endorphin levels balance themselves, it will put your mind into a state ideal for creative thinking.
Tip #4: Morning rituals and patterns
Start a morning ritual that puts you in the zone — whether it’s meditation, a gratitude practice or simply some regular everyday actions in a fixed sequence that tell your brain it’s time to get in the zone. Finish your creative tasks while listening to music or after a brisk walk. If you repeat the same actions before doing creative work for long enough, it creates an association that instructs the subconscious mind to get into the creative zone.
Tip #5: Get comfortable
The environment has to be right for creativity. You need to find a spot where you can focus without being disturbed so you can give the task your full attention. Prepare that space like a ritual and make it decluttered so you can focus. This also includes creating a framework for your project and removing obstacles to creativity. You can always talk to friends and scroll through Instagram later.
Tip #6: Don’t rush it
You can’t rush creativity. Hurrying does not help in the outflow of ideas. Your mind tends to go into a state of disarray when you try to force things. If you’re not on a tight deadline, walk away and do something completely unrelated. Don’t let yourself spend that time stressing about what you need to do.
If you are low on time, then start prioritising your list of activities. Go over each item in the list and finish them one by one with focus. Give it time.
Tip #7: Stop judging
Don’t judge your ideas until you have plenty to judge. Criticism hinders the free flow of ideas. This can be postponed until your creative session is over. Make many drafts, encourage the weird and strange ideas, modify them and only then choose the final version. Quantity should always be preferred over quality while brainstorming. This will enhance your creativity and help you create quality output that you are satisfied with.
These are just some basic ideas to get your creative juices flowing. They can be adapted to suit each individual. But a large amount of it comes down to you. How inventive can you be? How open are you? Remove the boundaries from your mind and your creativity will increase.
Yoga for creativity!
Yoga is a science far more powerful than just postures as it teaches you how to achieve discipline within your mind, fuelled by quiet reflection and inner calm. It’s easy to reach this point of inner peace and then your mind will not wander and your imagination will be limitless. Creativity is a muscle and so exercise it daily — don’t let this muscle atrophy.
Connect with Anjaan across social media @MeditateWithAnjaan
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