Express Yourself: 7 Tips to Get Your Creative Juices Flowing
If J.R.R. Tolkien hadn’t been so persistent, we wouldn’t be able to enjoy one of the most famous and beloved fantasy sagas of all time – The Lord of the Rings, which took him 12 years to complete.
Now, you may not be endeavoring to write the next international bestseller, but even your daily blogging, cooking, or fashion designs can encounter a roadblock every once in a while. But, before you throw in the towel, try to introduce some of the following creativity boosts and see if that painting project moves forward, after all!
One of the best ways to jumpstart your brain is to concentrate on something entirely different and unrelated to the issue. Stubbornly dealing with the matter at hand might work sometimes, but if you keep feeling agitated, pressured or anxious, then it’s unlikely you’ll experience a sudden outpour of brilliance.
Instead, immerse yourself in an activity that will force you to shut off the part of your mind dealing with this creative block. For example, watching YouTube tutorials on how to make a complex origami structure can do wonders to distract you and keep your hands engaged.
Exercising is a wonderful way to reboot your creative mind through a healthy activity. Whatever your occupation, when you take a step back from the project that’s messing with your head and head to the gym, go for a jog or hike in nature, you will help your body cleanse.
You’ll flood your body with happy hormones, enjoy some fresh air (hopefully), surround yourself with positive, like-minded people, and get your blood rushing through your muscles. If you are feeling drowsy, sluggish or anxious, working out will certainly help change your mindset for the better.
Discover new things
When your old ways fail you, it’s time to take a risk and immerse yourself into a new experience! It can be something simple such as listening to new types of music, or cooking an exotic meal, but when you provide your mind with novelty, it’s bound to expand your horizons.
We often find inspiration in the work of others, whether it’s a less-known artist or a fun book you’ve planned to read for a while, but finding the time to expose yourself to creativity in its most raw and natural form is bound to encourage new ideas.
Surround yourself with creative people
Another way you can tap into the well of creativity of other people is to spend more time with them! As simple as it may sound, it’s incredibly powerful in terms of helping your brain get out of a rut. You can stay in your own profession and consult other creative minds for opinions, collaborative brainstorming sessions, or get feedback on your process thus far.
But you can also get out of your comfort zone and learn a new skill by spending time with people in different professions! Sign up for a baking class, co-host a dinner party and try to learn how to craft incredible cocktails from a renowned mixologist from NYC, get singing lessons from an online teacher, or try your hand at magic. You never know what will give you that creative edge you’ve been craving for a while.
This simple technique is often underestimated, but when all else fails, it will probably be your savior. Make it your daily habit to flush ideas on a piece of paper (actual or digital will work) before you even begin the creative process, and you’ll teach your mind to erase barriers and just enjoy the flow of associations.
Some people thrive on an organized, structured problem-solving plan, but even if you do find it difficult to relax, you might be in desperate need to do precisely that for a change.
Flip your perspective
When the classic “what do they want to see?” thinking doesn’t yield to any results, it’s time to consider the absolute opposite. Start thinking in the direction of what would cause a completely different reaction from your work, get your mind to reverse the perspective and you’ll be surprised with the results.
You can also talk to and try to think like an outsider, because even the least informed individuals can be your unexpected source of a sudden burst of creativity.
Do what makes you tick
Whether it’s reading, watching funny cat videos, heading outside for the afternoon or binge-watching your favorite show, just do it! Let’s call it creative procrastination, because doing nothing of value for the actual problem may lead to a more interesting and imaginative solution.
It may seem like lounging about to the untrained eye, but you know that there is so much more to this seemingly unrelated process. Let your mind wander into the unknown by creating a relaxing, positive atmosphere you know you’ll enjoy – and brilliance will emerge when you least expect it!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Olivia is psychologist and entrepreneur from Brisbane. Mother of two beautiful children and proud owner of two silly boxer dogs. She is a passionate writer, traveler and conscious consumer, seeking healthy and sustainable products to incorporate into the lives of her family. Her motto is “Be the change you want to see in the world”.