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4 Fascinating Ways Meditation Helps Elevate Your Creativity
by Mindvalley Academy
If you’ve ever been in a creative slump, you know how frustrating it can be to try and recapture the flow.
Whether you’re brainstorming for a project, need to finish a writing assignment, or need to do some serious outside the box problem solving, creativity can be an elusive fish. One moment, you’re brimming with exhilaration, the ideas bubbling up and out of you a mile a minute. You can hardly jot them down, they’re coming so quick!
And the next? You’re staring halfheartedly at a blank page or an empty whiteboard, wondering where the creative juices went and how the heck to get them back.
Creativity can be a fickle friend. And so often, we believe it’s a force outside ourselves, external, temperamental, fleeting, and illusory.
But creativity isn’t some creature we need to artfully catch and grab hold of. Creativity is a by-product of your brain. Your brain! And when your brain is stopped up with a bunch of other junk, it’s no wonder you can’t get those juices percolating.
One solution to the creativity block? Meditation.
Here’s how meditation can help you recapture your creative spark and produce some truly inspiring stuff.
- Meditation Increases Cognitive Focus
One the areas we’re often tripped up by in the creative process is cognitive focus. Focus and creativity are great dance partners, and when you get them grooving together, that’s when you’ll really see sparks fly.
It’s incredibly easy to be distracted these days. There are screens in almost all of the rooms in our homes and workplaces, and just so many channels of communication to contend with. This can interfere with our ability to stay on task and keep focused on the job at hand.
Meditation helps us hone our ability to focus. Creativity is a muscle, the more you use it, the stronger it becomes. Focus is no different. If you work to cultivate and direct your attention during meditation, this same skill will easily transfer to other areas of your life – including your creative endeavors.
- Meditation Increase Your Awareness
Cultivating an awareness of the present moment is a dynamic technique that, if practiced often, can definitely enhance your creative potential.
How does it work? Well, meditation, specifically mindfulness meditation, helps bring you more fully into the present moment. Mindfulness encourages an intimacy with what is: your body, your breath, your thoughts, your surroundings.
By learning to carefully listen and observe the present moment, we learn to appreciate the subtleties of what surrounds us. We learn to notice the profound beauty in the minutiae of the day to day. And this can greatly influence creative ability.
Seeing things in a new light, through an altered perspective, is part of what creativity is all about. By fostering present moment awareness, we can help encourage our natural creative talents to flourish.
3. Meditation Reduces Fear and Anxiety
Many of us grapple with the challenges of day to day stress, but when this stress gets out of control, that’s when anxiety steps in. And anxiety can be a big problem.
For those suffering from clinical anxiety and depression, each day can feel like a minefield of frightening circumstances that must be navigated. How on earth can you possibly feel creative when it’s an effort just to get through your day in one piece?
Here’s where meditation can truly help us. Meditation has been proven to reduce activity in the amygdala – the part of the brain responsible for processing fear. Those suffering from daily bouts of anxiety and depression have especially sensitive amygdalas, so meditation can serve as a type of brain re-training resource. It helps teach the mind to redirect its energy to different, less reactive areas of the brain.
A less reactive amygdala? Less stress. And less stress means more room for creativity.
- Guided Meditation Encourages Your Imagination
Remember that bit about creativity being a muscle? The more you use it, the more it grows. Use it often, and your brain will become a creative powerhouse, rocketing your passions, projects, and concepts to impressive new heights.
A clever way to exercise your creativity is through guided meditation. Guided meditation actively recruits the imagination, encouraging you to envision, imagine, and create different spaces and environments in your mind which you, as the meditative practitioner, use to deepen your meditative experience.
When you follow along with a guided meditation, you recruit the same part of brain responsible for creative thinking as you mentally rehearse different meditation techniques.
If you’re interested in trying some visualization exercises that help promote creative thinking, why not check out these meditation techniques? You’ll be on the fast track to creative inspiration in no time.
What do you usually do when stuck in a creative slump? What methods have you found work best to get those creative juices flowing again? Tell us about it below.
Lechner, Tamara. “5 Ways to Improve Creativity Through Meditation.” The Chopra Center. http://www.chopra.com/articles/5-ways-to-improve-creativity-through-meditation#sm.0000t6qo7317vf5xwg11gtbrab3v4
Ross, Orna. “7 Ways Meditation Increases Creativity.” Jane Friedman. https://janefriedman.com/meditation-increases-creativity/
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