Want to boost your happiness levels? Be more creative!
I’m guessing the headline had you running for the emergency exit!?
Ainhoa, creativity is not my thing, I hear you say…
I’d rather the comfort and logic of numbers …
I was not born with the gift of creativity!
I know we tend to associate creativity with Dalinian characters dressed in outlandish clothes that have barely anything to do with us.
But, the reality is that you and I are not all that different from creatives.
Maybe as far as clothing is concerned but certainly not if we are talking about creativity levels.
Let me explain.
What is creativity?
Creativity is not only the ability of a person to compose a more or less catchy song or to paint a more or less pleasing painting.
Creativity is much more than that.
Creativity is also the ability to innovate, to solve problems, to generate new ideas and associations, and to discover new proposals that often lead to new conclusions.
That kind of ability – you have it.
Just like Pablo Picasso or Charles Dickens had it.
And, like any other muscle in your body, it’s simply a matter of exercising your creativity to become more creative.
There’s no denying that there are certain people with greater predisposition to create but all of us have the ability to develop and increase our levels of creativity.
There seems to be certain personality traits that favor creativity, one of the most important being to be open to new experiences.
Or, in other words, to have the predisposition to do new things and start them with a beginner’s mind.
Because as Buddhist monk Suzuki Roshi says:
“In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the mind of the” expert” there are only a few.”
What can you do to develop this beginner’s mind and pump up your creative muscle?
Try practising some of the following activities:
As you meditate, you enter into a more “inquisitive” state of awareness and perception of your ideas and yourself. This experience expands your creative abilities.
Practicing Open-monitoring meditation, in particular, – a form of meditation that consists in observing the phenomena that cross your consciousness without judging them and without restricting your point of attention to anything in particular – allows you to simply be open to the experience, without limiting yourself and not letting yourself be carried away by internal or external events.
2- Test yourself
Try combing, writing or brushing your teeth with your non-dominant hand.
This feeling of being clumsy, of being an apprentice all over again, will reset your mind to new possibilities.
3- Set up a daily creativity routine
Ainhoa, are you telling me to force myself to be creative on a routine basis?
Is this not contradictory?
Not really, because as Picasso said:
“Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working”.
In fact, great geniuses never sat down to wait for their muses.
They had always given them a little push by either cooking, or walking, or painting, or sitting in front of their desks every day without fail. Like Stephen King, who starts at 8 am and does not give up until he gets the 2,000 words he wants at about 11.30-1.30 pm.
Observe a lot.
Observe through the eyes of a child.
Stay constantly present and observe what is happening around you.
What if your mind wants to wander and start thinking about missing opportunities, for instance?
But bring it back to your present.
Observe those around you and give them the gift of your presence.
5- Get Bored
Yes, as surprising as it might seem, boredom is the one of the greatest sources of creativity because when you get tired and bored with something, you try to find alternatives.
That was Maya Angelou’s strategy.
Maya rented room in a motel to work from.
The room didn’t contain anything other than a bed, a sink and other essentials.
She worked without distractions, bored by her surroundings and focused exclusively on exercising creativity.
In your case, I suggest you give yourself permission to do nothing, from time to time.
Don’t be afraid…
You will not be wasting time …
Remember that a mind that is too full barely has any room to create anything.
You need a mental vacuum to find alternative solutions.
How can being more creative help you?
It has been proven that people who engage in creative activities on a daily basis feel happier and more energized.
Tamlin Conner of the University of Otago in New Zealand goes as far as claiming that creativity increases our levels of self-esteem and our satisfaction with our life and with ourselves.
Conner and her team in New Zealand evaluated the responses of 658 young adults. Each day the participants documented how much time they spent on various creative endeavors, as well as the positive and negative emotional changes they perceived as a result.
After 13 days, the scientists reviewed participants’ responses and discovered an “upward spiral of well-being and creativity” in those individuals who participated in creative activities on a daily basis.
That is to say, creative activities provided a considerable and measurable boost in positivity that lasted even until the following day!
You see, it’s not at all complicated ☺
You can practice creative activities that are as simple as writing a journal, weaving, playing an instrument, caring for your garden or even doodling!
Exercising the creativity muscle will make you happier – both personally and professionally.
However, if you’d rather travel accompanied by someone on your way to creativity and happiness, you can always count with my support!
It will be an absolute pleasure to help you in anything I can.
Get in touch now and we can start designing a personalized strategy that will help you to become more creative and feel happier!
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