From the time you wake up until you close your eyes at the end of the day, life demands that you use your brain to solve problems and take care of your responsibilities. If you want to develop your creativity, you need to make time to suspend your analytical brain and allow your creative brain to step into the spotlight.
The good news is that you can absolutely do it. Here are the top ten ways to toss your mind outside the box and develop your creativity.
1 – Get in Touch with Your Inner Child
Remember when you were a kid, how your mind used to run wild with new thoughts and ideas. Everything in the world was new to you. Unencumbered by knowledge, education, expectations, and responsibilities, you were free! Your imagination was like a vivid playground bursting with ideas, images, and dreams. Take the time to forget everything you’ve been taught since then and let your mind run away again. That child is still there inside of you, just waiting for you to say hello, so open a dialogue, and you may just be surprised by what you uncover.
2 – Start a Creativity Journal
Creativity is not something you can force. The harder you try to be creative, the more it seems like your mind comes up blank. That’s because creativity isn’t something you do; it’s something that happens to you. Sometimes out of the blue, or it could be when you first wake up in the morning. Whenever and wherever you happen to be when a spark of creativity comes to you, write it down in a journal. You may just be pleasantly surprised by how many original, creative ideas you actually have over the course of a week or a month.
3 – Brainstorm New Ideas
Brainstorming is one of the best ways to get your creative juices flowing. You can’t force creativity, but you can certainly help it along by allowing yourself to open up to new ways of thinking about things. Think outside the box, and don’t let your adult brain get in the way with any criticism. If a thought comes up saying, “That’s not possible,” or “That could never work,” then take that not as a negative, but as a positive sign that you’re on the right track; that’s the idea you want to run with.
4 – Create a Vision Board
Your thoughts, ideas, dreams, all of these things come with a visual in your mind’s eye. Allow yourself to see those images clearly. Take a minute to really look at the pictures you’re seeing, pay attention to the small details. If you want to focus on a certain project, then look online for images that you like relating to that project and put all of those images in one place so that you can look at them all together, but leave a blank space for your own image. Now let your mind go back to that image and add the missing piece to the board.
5 – Seek Out Inspiration
Sometimes creativity appears as if out of nowhere, but other times you need to look around for it. Look at the people who are producing the kinds of things that you aspire to yourself. Listen to them. What is their creative process? What sorts of things have helped them achieve what they have? By making a list of role models to emulate, you’ll be able to draw on their successes, learn from their mistakes, and hopefully claim your place among their ranks with your own unique, creative contributions.
6 – Meditate!
Since time immemorial, people seeking to be more creative have been given the same piece of advice; meditate! But what does that even mean? In simple terms, meditation just means quieting your mind. When you try to come up with new creative ideas, you can fall into the trap of accidentally putting your mind in overdrive. Remember, your conscious mind is far less creative than your subconscious mind, and it’s only when your conscious mind is quiet that you can hear your unconscious calling out to you with a thousand and one creative new idea.
This simple meditation exercise will help you tap into your creative reservoir:
Find a comfortable place to relax and sit down. Make sure that you won’t be disturbed for a least a few minutes. Then, close your eyes, and allow your mind to go blank. Focus on your breath. Breathe in for 6 seconds, hold your breath for 6 seconds, and then breathe out for 6 seconds. Allow any thoughts that arise to simply pass you by, always keeping your attention on the sensations of your breath flowing throughout your being. If you catch yourself thinking about something that’s okay, just let it go and return to your breath. After about 10-15 minutes, feel free to go about your day and just pay attention to see if you notice any changes in the way you think and feel. Chances are that you will feel happier and much more creative in general.
With regular practice, you will be able to stay in the zone for much longer and will reap the rewards for allowing your mind to slow down, be calm and relax. Love yourself. You deserve this.
7 – Allow Your Mind Wander
By meditating, you can quiet your mind and access your subconscious, but once your mind is still, what can you actually do to access the wealth of creativity that’s hiding just beneath the surface? Let your mind wander. Don’t claim any thoughts as your own, don’t place any judgments on the thoughts that come up; just notice them and let them pass you by, a quiet observer in the stream of life. After some time, write down what you saw; chances are you’ll be surprised by how many new thoughts and ideas went floating by.
8 – Set an Intention
Your mind is a computer, and it can only do what you tell it to. Now, sometimes you might not be aware of the commands that you’ve given to it, but nonetheless, you have. By taking control of your intentions, you can reclaim your power as the owner of the machine. Tell your mind what you want it to do, and then forget about it. Don’t try to force it or worry about how it will happen; just trust that your brain has the tools it needs to execute your command. Set an intention to come up with more creative ideas, and sooner rather than later, you will.
9 – Trust Your Intuition
It often happens that you have a great idea, an idea that you think is really neat and original, but then that pesky voice comes up saying, “that’s stupid” or “nobody will like that,” and so you dismiss your idea as being worthless when the exact opposite is true. Your feelings speak the truth, but your mind can only rearrange information. Trust your intuition, let your feelings guide you, and when an idea feels right, allow yourself to run with it.
10 – Don’t Be Afraid to Take Risks
Every new innovation, thought, idea, concept, and design was at one time in the making. Somebody was wrestling with whether or not people would like it, how it would be perceived, how they would look to their peers, colleagues, and society at large. There was a risk of failure, a risk of looking silly, a risk of ridicule, but they went ahead anyway and dared to share their vision, and the world changed for the better because of it; This is the way that the world improves; it’s the only way it can improve. Don’t be afraid to take risks, be brave! Chances are that if you like your idea, then many other people will as well. Who was the second person to invent the light bulb? Fortune favors the bold.
Always remember that regardless of who you are or what’s going on in your life at this very moment, you already have a million great original ideas that are just waiting to be discovered within you. So, get in touch with your inner child, brainstorm, create a vision board, seek inspiration from others, meditate, let your mind wander, set an intention to be more creative, trust your intuition and dare to take risks.
In all of the millions of years before you were born and in all of the countless centuries yet to come, there has never been another person just like you, and there never will be again.
You are a totally unique, magnificent person; and the world will forever be a better place for knowing you.
Feeling down in the dumps? What if we told you there was an easy way to change the course of your day. One simple act can elevate your mood, affect the people around you, and even make you look more beautiful?
All that seems like some pretty good reason to smile, right?
So what is this one little act?
As strange as it might sound, the simple act of smiling can have a profound effect on you and the people around you. Let’s dive in and learn about all the great reasons to smile every day that are sure to put a smile on your face!
Smiling is Contagious
What if there were a way to positively affect everyone around you? With a simple act, you can lift everyone’s spirits — including yours. Wouldn’t you do it all the time?
Unfortunately, many of us don’t take full advantage of this incredible gift we have. But that doesn’t mean you can’t start now!
Put a smile on your face and watch how it affects the people around you.
Don’t believe us? Smiling is actually scientifically proven to be contagious. How does it work? The part of our brains that controls the facial muscles necessary for smiling is automatic. When you smile or laugh at a joke, you don’t have to think about making the proper facial expression. It just happens — sometimes even when you consciously try not to!
Furthermore, seeing someone else smile is a natural trigger for our own smiling reaction. We naturally and unconsciously mimic the facial expressions that we see. So, put on a smile and watch the smiles light up around you!
Smiling Makes You Feel Better
Have you ever heard of a self-fulfilling prophecy? It’s a psychological idea that indicates a prophecy comes true simply because we believe it. Usually, it happens because our belief about the prophecy influences our actions, which in turn influence and lead to the expected outcome.
What does this have to do with smiling?
Well, to some extent you can predict that you’ll be happy and then make it come true by choosing actions and behaviors that will make you happy.
One of the most basic is simply choosing to smile.
The act of smiling actually affects our brains, triggering the release of mood-boosting neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine. To some extent, smiling can actually be considered a natural antidepressant.
Furthermore, just as we were talking about in the last section, smiling is contagious. Seeing someone smile makes it easier for you to smile and helps boost your mood even more. So, find a mirror and smile at yourself. As silly as it sounds, it actually can perk up your day!
Smiling Relieves Stress
Stress can be a good thing when your body uses it to help you react appropriately to a dangerous situation or gives you that little push you need to finish up your assignment on time. Unfortunately, these days most of us are living with so much stress that it is having a negative effect on our health.
An astonishing 77% of American adults regularly experience physical symptoms as a result of the stress they feel. Chronic stress leads to a host of medical conditions and is an underlying factor in the early deaths of many Americans due to the health problems it causes.
Since we are facing such a crisis, you can easily find articles and blogs on the Internet offering all sorts of advice on how to decrease stress. Unfortunately, most of them require time to unwind, such as going for a long walk or taking a relaxing bath. This can actually cause more stress because you don’t have enough time to meet all your commitments as it is.
However, there is one simple act that doesn’t require any time and won’t take anything away from your day.
You’ve already guessed it, simply putting on a smile can help relieve stress. What’s more, you don’t even have to be genuinely happy to get some benefit (although that will help strengthen the effect). Fake smiling also helps relieve stress. Plus, fake smiles can turn into genuine smiles, further boosting your mood and relaxing your mind.
Smiling Fends off the Flu
Aside from its effect on your mental health, smiling can also affect you physically. The connection between the immune system and the central nervous system has already been discovered. Researchers have long been examining this connection as it relates to mental issues such as depression and schizophrenia.
It has also been documented that emotions can have a profound effect on the progression of serious diseases such as cancer, HIV, or cardiovascular disease. Anecdotally, you may know someone whose positive outlook seemed to have an effect on slowing the progression of a terminal illness or sending something like cancer into remission. Alternatively, you may know someone whose negative outlook provoked the opposite.
Regardless, while our emotions won’t ultimately decide whether we fully recover or succumb to a disease, they do have an effect.
A happy disposition and spending your time smiling can also boost your immune system in small ways, helping you fend off the flu.
Smiling Is Good for Your Heart
You already know that smiling is good for your figurative heart. As we’ve already discussed, the mere act of smiling can spark positive feelings which can lead to genuine happiness.
However, smiling is also measurably good for your physical heart as well. If you have a way to take your blood pressure at home, you can actually witness the effects of this yourself. Take a blood pressure reading to get a baseline. Now, spend the next minute smiling and continue to smile as you take another reading.
Aside from looking a little ridiculous, you’ll discover something amazing. After just that minute of smiling, you will register a small reduction in blood pressure. Pretty amazing!
Smiling Makes You Beautiful
The US cosmetic surgery market is worth a staggering $66.96 billion in 2021. Many people spend thousands of dollars on various treatments to look more beautiful. On top of that, the beauty industry is valued at another $40.9 billion in 2021.
Clearly, people are looking for ways to look more beautiful. However, there is one simple way that doesn’t require revolutionary new creams or going under the cosmetic surgeon’s knife.
Wear a smile.
A smile makes you more attractive to other people. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder as it is often said. There is no definitive way to measure beauty.
When we look at one another, the beauty that we see is affected by how that person makes us feel as well as how they actually look. Viewing a smiling person is more pleasant and makes you feel happier, prompting you to conclude that they are more beautiful. Viewing the same person with an angry scowl or grouchy expression has the opposite effect and they appear more homely.
So, put on a happy face and forget about spending thousands on the latest cosmetic treatment out there.
Smiling Is a Natural Facelift
On top of making you look more beautiful, smiling naturally makes you look younger. Think about when you smile, what happens to your face? The muscles used to smile pull your face upward. It’s literally like a natural facelift!
Furthermore, a lifetime spent smiling will leave its mark on your face. You’ll be working the muscles that pull your face upwards daily, helping to combat the sagging effect of gravity on your face.
But, what about laugh lines, you might ask?
Well, you’re going to get wrinkles at some point. We think that a face lined with laugh lines is preferable to one marked by worry lines!
Smiling Projects Confidence
Are you up for a job interview soon? Maybe you’ll be asking for a raise soon or branching out and starting your own company. Whatever life situation you might be facing, it will benefit you if people see you as a confident (not arrogant) individual.
How do you do that? Flash them your pearly whites!
People relate a smile with confidence. There’s a reason many con men are known for their dazzling smiles. Not only does a strong smile instantly make a person more likable, but also projects confidence that they really do know what they are talking about.
Of course, we’re not advocating that you become a white-collar criminal, but illustrating the profound effect that a smile can have on how people view you.
So, the next time you want to seem more confident, beautiful, and even trustworthy, pull out your most dazzling smile and watch it go to work.
Taking a Break From It All
Sometimes we forget to focus on our mental health. We exercise to stay fit, but the less visible mental health gets pushed to the back of our minds.
However, it’s amazing the profound effect that something as simple as a smile has on our wellbeing — both mentally and physically. Try it today and watch how your world changes a little bit at a time!
Creativity is described as ‘’the use of imagination or original ideas to create something’’. The definition itself could well suggest that we are all ‘creatives’ to some degree and that there aren't any specific personality ‘types’ associated with creativity.