Fostering Creativity: 12 Strategies to Boost Creative Skills
This is partly because creativity helps individuals adapt to uncertainty and solve problems as they arise. Research has also suggested that creativity – as a component of the personality factor “openness to experience” – is a better predictor of an extended lifespan than intelligence or overall openness to experience (Turiano, Spiro, & Mroczek, 2012).
In the following article, we explore what creativity is and how personal creativity can be fostered. We discuss creativity in the classroom and workplace. We touch on creativity in art and music. We also note the intriguing connection between nighttime and creativity.
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Coloring completely counts as a creative activity. I mean, it’s not a sport (or is it?) Print out a coloring sheet, or toss a small coloring book in your purse for on the go, and you’re halfway there. For a grown-up spa experience, diffuse some restful essential oils, put your feet up, and color away.
I admittedly like to read cookbooks. (Jamie Oliver and Canal House are favorites.) Cooking isn’t my favorite thing in the world, but I admire those who do love it. (Yes, I’m talking to you, mom.) That said, I do like trying new recipes. Many of my current culinary loves are because I decided to buy the ingredients for a strange-to-me recipe and try it. And now I’m in love. (Still can’t believe how many years I wasted not eating curries! So sad . . .)
Eat a new food.
Similar to trying a new recipe, but this one is more simplistic. Give your taste buds a creative treat by choosing a brand new food (to you) at the grocery store. This is how I discovered the amazing wonder of Medjool dates. And 90% dark chocolate. (Okay, your food discoveries don’t have to be treats. ;)) What have you always passed by at the supermarket? Toss one in your cart this week. It might end up being your new favorite food!
How many of us have a decent camera that we know little to nothing about? Ahem. There are so many free and reasonably priced photography courses online these days that you could “go back to school” and learn how to use your amazing camera in a very short time. Or if you have a photographer husband, you could just ask him. 😉 Either way, you’ll be able to document your world and have a record that better represents what you want to say through pictures.
9) Keep a doodle journal at your desk.
Are you a visual thinker? If so, you might find it hard to find a direction with your ideas when you’re limited to the four corners of your screen. Change your routine and grab a pencil and paper to let your ideas free form in a more physical outlet. A blank sheet of paper or whiteboard may just be the best outlet to allow you to organize your thought process into one space.
According to Sunni Brown, author of The Doodle Revolution, “Even if you’re just scribbling in the margins, you’re lighting up different networks in your brain and when you do that, you’re engaging different information.”
Creating visual maps of all your different thoughts allows you to see the relationship between your ideas. Physically writing it down takes your ideas a step further and forces you to put them into words and physical shapes. If you can see your thought process, it will be easier to understand the direction you’ll want to go in.
10) Unwind by watching funny content.
Have you hit the point in your creativity block where you’re spending hours watching cat videos? Turns out those cat videos may actually be helpful . Research shows there’s a strong c orrelation between humor and creativity. A laugh can actually bring you closer to those moments of inspiration. Humor also puts you in a better mood , allowing you to think more freely and better solve creative problems.
Need a way to hone in on your work without zoning out? A lthough there’s been a lot of debate over whether listening to music will actually increase your intelligence over time (a theory often called the Mozart Effect) , there are still productivity benefits to tuning in. Listening to music can help you focus on whatever task you’re currently doing. It can also put you in a better mood, and even calm your nerves if you’re feeling anxious.
Certain forms of music can help channel your creativity better than others and tune out the noises of the office. While music with extreme changes of pace or lyrics can be distracting, ambient music can help increase processing levels and and promote creative thinking.
One new practice can work for you differently over time if you start to get bored of it. If you ever start to feel a practice has become too routine for you, revisit this post to try out another idea.