Whether you are a working mom or stay at home mom, a professional that works from home or in an office setting, an entrepreneur or member of corporate America-fueling your creativity and finding a creative outlet can become more of a stresser than fun due to busy schedule and not knowing where to start.
Before we dive into how to channel and fuel your creativity, let's first touch upon the importance of having a creative outlet. Creative expression is a unique human experience. To allow yourself to take part in your own unique creativity is healthy and fulfilling. That's right, our brain needs different types of stimulation to stay healthy. Different parts of the brain and cognitive processes, both conscious and unconscious, become activated depending on the type of creative endeavour we participate. So, escape your comfort zone and the regular patterns of day to day life-your brain will thank you!
Here is how to fuel your creativity and find a creative outlet.
The first step in finding your creative outlet is to become more self-aware and get to know yourself a bit more. Take a little time out away from work, the kids or any other distractions and reconnect with yourself. Put your phone on silent, put your laptop away and just focus on you and what you like and really feel like doing.
This can lead to another step which is revisiting childhood pursuits. Think back to what you did as a child that made you happy. Did you enjoy coloring or painting? Drawing? Playing a musical instrument? Dancing? Playing dress up? Discover what is was and how you can incorporate it into your adult life. Turn dressing up into fashion blogging or sharing #OOTD's. Go grab some blank canvases and paint brushes at a craft store to pursue you childhood hobby of drawing/painting. Or sign up for some evening dance classes in your town to reignite your dancing skills. Which takes us into our next tip, sign up for local classes in your community. These are at fingers reach, making them easy to attend and fit into your busy schedule.
With those few steps, let's now discuss how you can fuel your creativity.
One of the most consistent ways to stimulate your brain for new ideas is escaping the mundane and diving into a good book.
2. Dress the part
We have spoken perviously on how fashion affects your psyche, and it's not different when it comes to how it affects your creativity.
A study conducted by researchers at Columbia University and California State University, Northridge, found that clothing had a significant impact on cognitive processing style. More formal clothing resulted in more abstract cognitive processing.
“Wearing formal clothing leads to more big-picture thinking, rather than concrete thinking that focuses on the details,” study co-author Michael Slepian, a postdoctoral research scholar at Columbia Business School.
“Formal clothing made people feel more powerful, which in turn made them more likely to adopt high-level, abstract thinking,” Slepian said, pointing out that “the suit is a symbol of power.”
3. Observe and listen
Take moments throughout your day and just watch. Because of busy schedules, most days we can be oblivious to the world around us. Which can reduce the way we are inspired by our surroundings.
Once you do take time to observe your surroundings, talk to someone about it. Tell your friend, roommate or spouse about your day and in exchange listen to them speak. Together your shared insights and feelings help to develop more conscious creativity and opportunities for more outlets.
Try to always carry a small notepad with you to capture your ‘lightbulb’ moments and flashes of creative genius. That way it doest matter if you have your idea in the middle of a work meeting or mid-slumber. Keeping a notebook with you at all times allows you to write down your ideas in the moment, while the thought is still fresh.
5. Be confident
One of the biggest struggles people have when trying to fuel their creativity is being confident in your creative abilities. Confidence is necessary in creating and following through with amazing ideas. If you don’t think you can do it, you won’t. Having confidence in your creative abilities will allow you to really think outside the box and accept ideas that are worth the risk.
Think creativity just isn't for you? Think again! Creativity predicts a longer life. In a study published in the Journal of Aging and Health, “researchers found that only creativity—not intelligence or overall openness—decreased mortality risk. One possible reason creativity is protective of health is because it draws on a variety of neural networks within the brain.” Writer and researcher James Clear cites studies and research that demonstrate creating art decreases negative emotions, reduces stress and anxiety and improved medical outcomes.
The last note we want to touch upon is the important role creativity plays in your professional careers. Creativity is the driving force behind most businesses’ success. Creativity and innovation are often the reason that not only businesses, but professionals flourish in today’s world. Creative thinking leads to the implementation of innovative ideas and the "next big thing".