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« Pressing the Restart Button | New Year. New Numbers. »
Tuesday
Jan132015

Ways to Boost Your Creativity

Did you know that January is International Creativity Month? ICM founder, Randall Munson said . . .

“Unleashing creativity is vital for personal and business success in this age of accelerating change.”

 

 

What can you do to give your creativity a boost or fresh start?

There are some surprisingly simple ways to activate your creative thinking. We’re not just talking about being creative to necessarily produce physical works of art. Think about using your creativity to solve problems (organizing included), feel happier, and be healthier. In Shana Lebowitz’s article, 36 Ways to Boost Creativity, she mentions ideas such as listening to music, writing by hand, daydreaming, getting social, trying something new, looking at something blue or green, sitting in a coffee shop, getting someone else’s opinion, and laughing.

In The Creativity Cure: How to Build Happiness With Your Own Two Hands, Carrie and Alton Barron believe that “creative action is integral to easing depression and anxiety and to fueling wellbeing. The need to create–to produce something using our minds and hands–is fundamental.”

My next creative venture is a 4-week Comedy Improv class that begins this week at the Croton Academy of Arts. I’ve taken this fabulous course before and was amazed at what got unleashed. It combines so many of the ideas suggested in Lebowitz’s article including laughter, doing something new, gesturing with two hands, and free associating.

I’d love to hear from you. Come join the conversation. What’s your go-to creativity booster?

 

 

 

 

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Reader Comments (12)

I have a few creative outlets. I love to create different pallets of color and texture in my garden. I tour botanical gardens when I visit a city and friends' gardens. I also love to create works of art with needlepoint. Some I make for gifts and others I make for myself. Recently, I took up competitive ballroom dancing. We, may partner and I, are working on 12 different dances. We dance almost everyday. This has opened up a whole new avenue of creativity as it is a performance art. It has enabled me to be much more relaxed and expressive when I participate in public speaking engagements.

January 13, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterDiane Quintana

Diane- What incredibly diverse and wonderful creative outlets you have in your repertoire! I enjoyed your description of the "pallets of color and texture" that you see yours and other gardens.And how fun that you do ballroom dancing. While I know there's a lot of control that's required, there's also something so freeing and creative about dancing and moving to music. What a great bonus that your performance art has enhanced your public speaking.

January 13, 2015 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

My best ideas come when I'm not searching for them! Sometimes in a dream, or when I'm watching tv, or even out for a walk. The key seems to be relaxation - when I'm relaxed, that's when inspiration strikes.

January 13, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSeana Turner

Linda, I feel like I've been given permission to play! I love being creative, be it via writing, cooking, drawing, crafting with paper or taking photographs. We spent the holidays at the beach this year and I spent quite a bit of time sitting on the back porch over looking the Gulf with my colored pencils, graphic image coloring books and sketch pad. Just being with my creativity in such a relaxed atmosphere was restorative to the soul. The added benefit was that my 12 year old nephew joined me a number of times. Coloring provided us a new point of connection and allowed this tween to be a kid and enjoy the experience of being with his creativity instead of with a screen. Thank you for the opportunity to recall this experience this morning - it is a true gift. I think I'll pull those art supplies out for at least a little while today.

January 13, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea Sharb

My inspiration always strikes when I am doing the mundane, like housework. This year I am giving myself permission to stop what I am doing when inspiration strikes and run with it.. My housework might take longer but my creativity will be put to good use.

January 13, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJill Robson

So great to see you all here. Just reading your comments have given me a creativity boost!

@Seana- What a beautiful thought that when you're relaxed, "inspiration strikes." Sometimes that works for me too. Sometimes inspiration comes when I'm stimulated by new information or ideas (like from a book, class, conference, or conversation.)

@Andrea- You also have connected creativity to a relaxed state (like Seana.) I can picture you on the porch in the warm sun, with colored pencils and paper in hand creating away…and the bonus of connecting with your nephew at the same time. Wonderful that this creative memory has encouraged you to repeat it again today. Beautiful.

@Jill- So awesome that you've given yourself permission to savor and follow the moment when inspiration strikes. Perhaps there's a connection to that relaxed state (like Andrea and Seana) wrote about. When you're doing "the mundane," you're probably in a more relaxed mode and it allows your mind to wander.

Thank you all for sharing. Just love hearing how creativity and inspiration shows up for each of you.

January 13, 2015 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

Love the creativity that comes from walking in nature. I find that as I walk my thoughts percolate!

January 13, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterEllen Delap

Sorry, I was being creative and missed that it was creativity month!
Seriously I love that you are doing the improv class, Linda. I feel challenged to go out and do something really scary.

January 13, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterCameron Gott

"Gesturing with two hands?" Those of us from Sicilian descent have that one down! :)

January 14, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterValentina Sgro

More wonderful ideas and reasons to smile! Thank you for adding humor to the creativity conversation.

@Ellen- According to Shana Lebowitz's article, looking at the colors green and blue stimulates our creativity…maybe that's one of the reasons that walking in nature works as a "percolator" for you? Love that you know what works. Now that it's wintery, I miss my outdoor time. I tend to stay in more.

@Cam- Go do something scary! I highly recommend it. I vote for scary, but not dangerous. Tonight's my first Comedy Improv class of the session. I'm looking forward to being uncomfortable, but also having a great time and letting go so that creativity can flourish.

@Val- You made me smile. Thank you for that one. The background on the gesturing with two hands is that according to one study they found that using two hands prompts the brain to consider issues from multiple perspectives. Keep those hands moving!

January 14, 2015 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

I'm lucky that my work as a web designer gives me an outlet for my creativity! But since I am somewhat limited by my clients' wishes and by working mainly on "business" sites, I've recently launched a personal blog where I can share my photography and just generally play. I hope you'll check it out at http://janetbarclay.com!

January 14, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJanet Barclay

Janet- It's wonderful that you can use your creativity every day in your work. I have that with my organizing work. There's the creative problem solving aspect, but also the visual-creative side with arranging and have form and function work together.

I just checked out your new janetbarclay.com site. WOW! What a wonderful idea. Congratulations. Your site has such a nice feel to it. And boy oh boy do I want a piece of that yummy looking chocolate cake. Enjoy your new creative outlet!

January 15, 2015 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

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