It’s really hard to come up with new ideas and solutions to problems exactly when you need to. For example, I can’t sit at my desk and write without first allowing time to let my ideas germinate. Every post I write takes me a lot longer than I want it to. I have to make space in my brain for ideas to bloom. If I’m too frazzled and overstimulated, I can’t think clearly. That’s why I believe slowing down is crucial to creativity.
That being said, life is hectic. We’re all bombarded with a ton of tasks, emails, meetings, alerts, media. It’s not possible for us to all move off the grid and live a totally slow, isolated life. Many of us wouldn’t want that, and I don’t think that’s realistic (unless this is your dream — go for it!). For the rest of us, it’s about dedicating time for slow moments; moments that will allow our minds to wander.
This won’t look the same for everyone. We all have different interests and abilities. However, the first step for all of us is to be aware of the pace of your life and then taking actionable steps to slow it down when feasible. Have you ever noticed that your great ideas come when you’re on a walk, taking a shower or playing an instrument? It’s because your brain has time to separate from your regular routine and environment. When you make time to engage in activities that make you happy and relaxed, your brain receives a dopamine hit — which can lead to a boost in creativity.
It’s important to find opportunities to break free from your normal routine; to break away from the constant busyness. This is easier said than done, but the more you practice, the easier it becomes. It becomes a value and a priority — something that doesn’t feel like a luxury and more like an essential part of your creative life.
Here are a few examples of things you can try:
- Take a walk every day
- Take a meditative bath or shower
- Meditate each morning
- Journal daily
- Plan an Artists’ Day
- Listen to music with your eyes closed
- Practice yoga
- Play an instrument
- Paint or draw
- Do a puzzle
Play around with these activities or come up with one that works for you. See how it makes you feel and if it leads to more creative breakthroughs.
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