Creativity is a muscle — the more you use it, the stronger it gets. If your New Year’s resolution is to be more creative over the coming months, you might need some help finding that creative spark; in other words, you might need to be inspired.
Fortunately, inspiration can be triggered using a few simple tricks and tools. As you develop your creativity skill, you can rely on the following tips to help you find inspiration exactly when you need it:
Design Your Creative Space
Just as your body feels the energy to work out when you step into the gym, your mind will feel inspiration if you give it a certain space to explore creativity. Your creative space should have all the tools you need to be creative, like the right lighting, comfortable furniture and plenty of creative supplies, and it should be free from distractions like a barking dog or a television screen. Other elements of your creative space might be unique to you. For example, some people gain inspiration from music, while others are sidetracked by it; some people feel energized by bright colors and patterns, while others are easily overstimulated. You should consider the function and feel of your space as you are putting it together, to ensure it maximizes inspiration for you.
Allow Yourself to Daydream
Daydreaming is allowing your mind to wander away from the task and hand and through whatever streams of consciousness it desires. In Western culture, daydreaming is often depicted as dangerously unproductive, but in truth, daydreaming can be exceedingly mentally beneficial. By daydreaming, you are giving your brain the time and space to play around with new ideas, which will give you plenty of new opportunities for inspiration. You can give yourself a designated time and place to daydream — like during your morning coffee, your daily shower, your evening run or some other time when you can be alone with your thoughts.
If you can’t get the hang of daydreaming, you might instead schedule some time for meditation. In contrast to daydreaming, meditation compels you to gain complete control over your thought, guiding your mind to experience the present moment in different ways. Studies have found that certain types of meditation boost one’s ability to innovate, so factoring in the physical and psychological benefits, you should be meditating every day.
Feel Your Feelings
Research has found that strong emotions are linked to greater inspiration and creativity, which means you should get in the habit of feeling your feelings with intensity and harnessing that energy to fuel your creative endeavors. For some, experiencing strong emotional states can be a difficult skill to master, especially considering that many people are socialized to avoid feelings. You can encourage your emotions by trying to name them when they appear, and you should pay attention to your creative output when you are experiencing different feelings.
Consume a New Substance
Many people believe that they are more creative under the influence of mind-altering substances like alcohol and cannabis — but studies have found that this isn’t exactly the case. Rather, when you use a psychoactive substance, your inhibitions are lowered; in other words, you are less self-critical, and more likely to roll with any new idea. Still, it might be beneficial to experiment with substances — in a safe, legal way, of course. You can use Weedmaps to find legal dispensaries in your area, and you can ask budtenders for help finding strains that boost creativity, energy and focus.
Give Yourself a Break
The worst thing you can do for your creativity is allow stress to overwhelm you. If you are putting too much pressure on yourself to experience inspiration or perform some creative task, you will almost invariably suffer from creative block, and you could also lose your passion for your creative work. You should put some physical and psychological distance between you and your project, taking a full break from your creative endeavor for a short period of time. You might use this break to daydream, or you can tackle other projects around your home that require less creative energy.
There is an old saying that you only need motivation until habit kicks in. For creativity, you only need these tricks for boosting inspiration until your creative muscles are strong enough to work on their own. The more energy you put into being creative, the more creative you can become in 2022.