Taking Care of Yourself

10 Ways To Reignite Your Creativity

Amanda Page Oct 30th, 2012 (updated Jan 25th, 2014)
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Everyone possesses the ability to be creative, but for certain individuals, imaginative thinking comes more easily. Some research, in fact, suggests that people who suffer from bipolar disorder tend to be the most creative. But there are ways for anyone to get out of a creative rut. Here are 12-research-based suggestions:

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Go green
Go green

A recent study found that seeing the color green sparks inventiveness. This is because the color green acts as a mental cue to promote motivation, which can lead  to mental and psychic growth. Green isn’t the only color that has an effect on our psyche. Red, for instance, has been linked to success and dominance, and the color yellow has been found to improve focus and concentration. 

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You are what you eat
You are what you eat

Processed foods such as simple carbohydrates are high in trans fats, sodium, sugar, and artificial ingredients that can lead to lethargy, and illness. Complex carbs, on the other hand, supply glucose to the brain throughout the day and can help enhance brain function.  These foods include whole grains, quinoa, and brown rice.  Essential fatty acids such as hemp seeds, chia seeds, and walnuts can also help brain function.  

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Doodle
Doodle

Doodling could be considered a form of visual note taking.  It tailors to the learning needs of individuals by allowing them to organize thoughts in a more tangible way, and thus opens up new ways of innovative  thinking.  Doodling expands creative solutions beyond text and verbal based approaches.   

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Make it a coffee date
Make it a coffee date

A recent study revealed that working in a coffee shop can help boost creativity.  The casual environment of a coffee shop, as opposed to a stuffy office or quiet library, enhances the ability to think creatively.  Aesthetically, a coffee shop says, “don’t worry about being professional, think outside the box.”  

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Find your soundtrack
Find your soundtrack

Music has always been believed to stimulate creativity.  While the ‘Mozart Effect,’ which hypothesized that listening to classical music increases IQ, has been debunked, music is capable of getting your creative juices flowing.  Music fuels the production of alpha and theta brain waves, and big alpha waves induce creativity.  Likewise, theta waves are associated with the process of imagination, dreaming, learning, and relaxation.  

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Avoid the roadblocks
Avoid the roadblocks

Trying to think creatively can be very frustrating if the ideas aren’t already flowing.  Avoid the common thinking traps that will prevent innovation including: I don’t have the skills, equipment, office space, time, or the ability to ever be as creative as so-and-so.  Thinking solutions, not failure is a great starting point.  

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Daydream
Daydream

Go ahead, lay back, close your eyes and let your imagination wander.  A new study shows that daydreaming boosts creative problem-solving abilities.  Allowing your mind to wander allows your brain to explore different solutions that are usually inhibited by focused thinking.  Daydreaming has also been linked to improved memory function.  

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Play video games
Play video games

Recent findings from Michigan State University show that those who play video games tend to be more creative.  The study found that adolescent gamers were better at writing stories and drawing pictures, regardless of what types of video games they played. And the more they played, the more creative they were.  In fact, in the near future, video games may be designed specifically to boost our creativity.  

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Be absurd
Be absurd

Our psyche yearns to draw meaningful conclusions from our experiences, and very bizarre experiences can challenge that ability – thus exercising the creative abilities of the brain.  Allow yourself some time each day to focus on absurdist works of literature and art to help boost your creative brain function.  Some options: Kafka’s “Metamorphosis,” Joseph Heller’s, “Catch-22” or Tom Stoppard’s, “Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead.”  

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Use fatigue
Use fatigue

Surprisingly, your brain thinks more freely and creatively when it’s fatigued.  So leaving open-ended problem solving and creative brainstorming to the evenings before bed can work wonders for your originality.