The Creative Zone
Creativity Exercises – How To Set The Conditions To Slip Into The Creative Zone
by: Adam Chalker
To get the best results from these techniques, you’ll want to set the right conditions – internally and externally – to increase the odds you’ll slip into your creative zone.
You’ve probably noticed that kids don’t need this. For kids, being creative comes easily, spontaneously, and in-the-moment. Just hand them popsicle sticks, paper, markers, and glue and in ten minutes you’ll have a masterpiece.
For adults however, it can be harder to slip into the zone and stress is the main culprit. Bills, bosses, to-do lists, chores, and many others daily stressors clog your mind and prevent the state of relaxation needed for creativity.
Here are a few practices to help shift from states of stress and prepare for creativity. Ever heard of “sleep hygiene?” Well, let’s consider this “creativity hygiene.”
1. Find a creative environment. Get away from stressful environments and go somewhere uncluttered where you have space to think (literally and figuratively). Spending time in nature can also help you relax and boost your creative juices. Or, for an alternative, go somewhere that might trigger new ideas (bookstore, mall, cafe… it could be anywhere.)
2. Relax. Brain research reveals that creativity and divergent thinking occurs when you begin to relax. (Too much relaxation can dull you, however, so don’t take this too far and fall asleep.) Try taking a few deep breaths and then try to relax your entire body.
- Here’s a script you can use to relax your body, starting at your head.
- I notice the top of my head relaxing. I am relaxed.
- The muscles of my face are relaxing. I am relaxed.
- My shoulders and arms are relaxing. I am relaxed.
- My abdomen is relaxing. I am relaxed.
- My legs are relaxing. I am relaxed.
- My feet are relaxing. I am relaxed.
3. Music. Music can drastically boost your creative mood. Choose music with no words, since the words will grab your attention and distract you. Ideally, the music should quickly fade into the background. Experiment with different types until you find something that will help you focus. Try checking online as well for music designed to induce states of creativity. (The rhythms of this type of music promote high alpha waves).
4. Movement. Creativity is a whole-body endeavor. Walk around, bounce a ball, or fiddle with something. These practices can often help creative and intuitive insights to arise.
5. Play. Sing, rhyme, color, or tell jokes, and most of all, don’t take yourself too seriously. Then…
6. Just Start! Starting is often the hardest part, and usually your first ideas will not be the winners. So, just get going. If you’re writing, just write anything; even type something you’ve already written. If you’re brainstorming, just start putting ideas down. Any ideas. It doesn’t matter if they’re good or not. (You can edit these ideas out later.) After several minutes of activity, you should find yourself slipping into the zone and that’s when your ideas will really start flowing.
Setting the ideal conditions for creativity can boost your results from specific creativity techniques. And, the more you practice setting the conditions for creativity, the better you’ll get.
So, build your creativity routine and practice it often in order to slip into your creative zone at will.
|About The Author
Adam Chalker is a certified personal coach with a Masters in Education and Human Development. His website, www.best-personal-growth-resources.com offers a variety of creativity exercises to spark your creative genius.
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