Five fun ways to easily add creativity to your life
Like the bridge I caught in my phone camera when I was out on my walk, creativity is always lingering at the edge and eager to reveal itself. It’s simple to add creativity to your life when you pay attention.
I know, I know, you’re not creative… right? Perhaps you have your own reasons for saying this. Sometimes an endless quest for perfection keeps us from even starting. Or, it could be a painful memory that leaves us drained. There can be times in our lives when we absorb a message that does not serve us.
I believe we are all creative. I believe it’s what being human is all about. Our inventive minds, our willingness to explore, and our creativity are integral to being human.
Our creativity is how our soul expresses itself.
What is creativity?
To me, being creative means connecting unconnected dots, or connecting the same dots in a different way. There are many ways we are already doing that.
Our problem-solving skills have creativity at their foundation. We assess an overall situation, drill down to examine the detail, then connect dots that hadn’t been connected before to come up with a different solution. Problem solved.
A sense of humor is also a reflection of creativity. Jokes are always understood in reverse, the last sentence explains the story. We feel engaged and triumphant when we guess the twist before the punchline. Inventive play is creativity at its best. It’s fun!
We can adopt behaviors that add creativity to our life. Here are five ways to keep the juices flowing:
- Give yourself unstructured thinking time. Go for a walk or run, take a ride on your bike, go fishing, sit on the beach. Free play increases our ability to make unexpected associations. When we relentlessly dig into a problem, we can get too close and our thinking becomes cloudy. Stepping away from a puzzle gives us distance to see things from a different angle. Plus, getting outside in nature is a proven creativity stimulator.
- Set limits. It’s like writing a haiku. This rigorous poetic structure dictates how many syllables belong on a line and how many lines in the poem. You would think that having a tight structure would make it more difficult, and it does at first, but that difficulty is what stimulates the creativity. Why is that? Because we remove options and eliminate distractions. The limits set us free to focus on what’s directly in front of us.
- Take care of your body. Get plenty of sleep so that your brain can integrate the new information learned during the day. We can’t connect dots that aren’t formed. Exercise increases blood flow to the brain as well as releases endorphins. The foods we choose and the way they are prepared can have enormous impacts on brain function. Poor choices can lead to foggy brains.
- Turn that frown upside down. This is your full permission to put on the rose-colored glasses. Give yourself a break, call your friends and go out for ice cream or to the skating rink. Life is to be enjoyed! When we are positive and upbeat, that state of mind opens possibility.
- Expand your connections. Creative collaboration is a time-honored way to magnify an idea beyond our wildest imaginings. Think Myers and Briggs, McCartney and Lennon, Rogers and Hart. The list goes on. Creative work is rarely a starving artist alone in the third floor garret. Find like-minded folks to share ideas and see what else you can dream up.
If you have other go-to ideas that add creativity to your life, please comment below. I’d love to hear what works for you!