You may think that creativity is something you’re either born with or not – and while it’s true that it comes easily to some, that doesn’t mean it’s not a skill that can be learned. In fact, creativity is something that can be practiced and strengthened, much like working a muscle, until it eventually starts to become second nature. What’s more, if you’re looking to become more creative – whether in our outside of work – it needn’t require a huge life overhaul, just a little commitment to finding the methods that suit you best, and to dedicating a little time to play and exploration. Ready to get started? Here are some recommended (and most importantly, fun) ways to get more creative.
7 ways to get more creative
1) Get inspired
One sure-fire way to get those creative juices flowing is to immerse yourself in works that inspire you. Whether it’s visiting an art exhibition, watching a movie, or scrolling through Pinterest, getting swept away in the bright ideas of others can open the door to brilliant ideas of your own. What better reason to take a bit of me-time and get a culture fix?
2) Try something new
They say that variety is the spice of life, and it can also be a crucial tool in opening you up to increased creativity. Studies show that being in a new situation forces our brains to adapt and form new connections, which can in turn spark fresh thinking. This needn’t mean trying out an extreme sport (unless that’s your bag) – something as simple as changing up your coffee order or reading about an unfamiliar topic can help you get out of your comfort zone and reap those creative rewards.
3) Put it on paper
In The Artist’s Way, her cult book on creativity, author Julie Cameron raves about the benefits of carving out a daily journaling practice. She recommends writing three pages in a notebook, by hand, each morning, to tune into your thoughts and ultimately clear your mind, ready for new ideas to come in. Don’t stress or edit your words – no one need read your scribblings but you. Just let everything flow onto the page, and your creativity is sure to flow soon after.
4) Walk it out
We all know that exercise is great for the brain – and while it might sound incredibly simple, just going for a simple walk has been proven to increase creativity by up to 60%, according to a study by Stanford University. Science suggests this may be for multiple reasons, including the fact that walking stimulates various parts of the brain at once. Either way, many creative people swear that pounding the pavements is a brilliant cure for writers’ block – so why not grab those boots and get outside?
5) Do something else
Trying to force yourself to be creative often won’t work – which can be very frustrating when you need to get a piece of work done or solve a problem. It may seem counterintuitive, but often one of the best things you can do when feeling blocked is take a step back and do something else – whether you turn to a different project, or do something else entirely, like take a hot shower. When your mind is no longer focused on the challenge at hand, you might find that inspiration strikes naturally – often when you least expect it. (We’ve all had those moments when a brilliant idea comes to us right before we drift off to sleep, right? The same principle applies here.)
6) Engage your senses
Creative inspiration can come from many sources. Prime your mind and body to be receptive to different stimuli by engaging your senses. Many people find that putting on a piece of music can get ideas flowing and improve focus, whereas for others, a beautiful fragrance – like that from a scented candle – can help spark a creative mood. As a bonus, getting more into our bodies can help give our minds a rest, so that we’re revitalized and ready to tackle new projects.
7) Lean in to the quiet
Boredom gets a bad reputation. Studies show that when we’re free of distractions – like the various gadgets that fill so much of our time in the modern world – our brains have to find new ways to stimulate themselves, including dreaming up plenty of new creative ideas. Start small, perhaps with just turning off your phone for half an hour – and see how it affects the way you approach creative challenges. If you need a bit of support, there are also various apps out there that can help you block distractions – we like Freedom.
Get into the creative mood
Expand your imagination with the Bright Moments candle by CASA Home. Specially formulated by perfumers in Grasse, France, it combines heady essential oils of jasmine and rose to get those bright ideas flowing in no time. Shop here