Thinking and being positive can unlock a whole treasure chest of ideas and energy. It can build your confidence, grow your leadership, enhance your relationships and improve your health. It also helps you to release your creative juices. Happiness fuels success – when we are positive our brains are more engaged, creative, motivated, energetic, resilient and productive at work.
Inspiration can be defined as a new and better way of answering a question or solving a problem. In life, we often get bogged down by busyness and set patterns. Sometimes it’s hard to come up with insightful solutions to a difficult quandary. When you find yourself in need of inspiration and creativity. Even those of us not in explicitly creative fields must come up with new ideas and insights to move ahead. How can we shake up the way we think?
I don’t know about you, but it can be hard to stay inspired this time of year. It’s cold outside. It gets dark early. Maybe it’s just me, but these seemingly simple factors can get me feeling like I’m stuck in a rut. I think we should focus on ourselves. Try to impress yourself, try to top your best efforts. Set up your life, so in the end “you” will look back and be proud. But how in the world do you do that when we all feel so busy and tired, and well… uninspired?
Sometimes you need a little inspiration, a little extra excitement or brightness in your soul when you are in the depths of your routine each day, week, month. I find that there are many ways you can add a little creativity. It really is about carefully seeking out something different, some lovely things, things that give you a bit of a lift when you are drowning or overwhelmed in the ‘every day’. I have a few ways that I find inspiration in everyday life.
It is about celebrating, supporting and fostering creativity. When you are being positive it leaves little room for negative things. It is fear, lack of confidence and negativity that all stifle creativity. Negative emotions can sabotage your ability to solve problems and lead to you being distracted more easily.
There is a part of the brain called the amygdala. It is a small part of the brain. It controls emotions and motivation. When the amygdala is activated by negative emotions the brain cannot solve other problems. The amygdala (Latin, corpus amygdaloideum) is an almond-shaped set of neurones located deep in the brain’s medial temporal lobe. Shown to play a key role in the processing of emotions, the amygdala forms part of the limbic system.
Happy, positive thoughts inhibit cortisol and release serotonin to create that sense of well-being. Now the brain can perform at its optimum level. When you feel confident, think positively. When you are excited about a challenge you perform at your best. Fuel your confidence, fuel your creative energies.
Exploration is important because it goes hand in hand with creativity. How does one learn to be creative? How does one develop the ability to produce lots of new ideas, to respond to problems easily and energetically?
Go outside. Look around. Walk. Notice. “Exploration encourages creativity, serendipity, invention.” Take that time to wander and explore the landscape around you can spark your creative mind:
Every day is just that: It’s every day. But it’s the little steps that propel us forward. The same attitude you would apply to a big important event, that’s how you should approach your everyday tasks. For example, let’s say your dream was to write a novel. And you think, “If only I had a book deal, then I would wake up early every day and write.” Wrong. You should do that anyway, without a book deal. You’ve got to have the attitude of the inspired even if you don’t have the circumstances (yet).
Inspiration is not always going to find you. There are times when you just don’t feel it. Maybe you’re just tired, feeling worn out and in need of a break. We all go through situations like these. it’s your choice how you will deal with it. You can choose to press on or be defeated. The power is in your hands! This may sound like a responsibility or chore, but I think it’s super empowering. It puts the ball in our court.
Sometimes our own fixed patterns can be a major barrier to inspiration and creativity. Given the problem at hand, if you think close-ended statements such as “I can’t…,” “I don’t know…,” or “I’m stumped…,” you’re more likely going to create a negative self-fulfilling prophecy and remain stuck. Instead, come up with open-ended statements and questions such as: “There’s always a way…”; “What if…?” These open-ended statements and questions are your creative mantras. When you repeat them to yourself, don’t try to consciously come up with answers. Instead, empty your mind, engage in one or more activities and enjoy the process. Allow inspirations and solutions to emerge naturally and spontaneously.
Think and act outside the box. Give yourself a day (or at least a couple of hours) when almost everything you do is a departure from your normal routine: Take a different route to work, listen to unfamiliar music, try unusual foods, visit an interesting store, problem solve in a new environment, brainstorm with your non-dominant hand, or watch a TED talk. Break from the mundane and experience your world in brand new ways. As your perspective widens to fresh stimulus, so will your creativity.
Exercise stimulates the brain by creating new neurones. Physical activity helps us get out of our heads and stimulate new thought patterns.
Nature and colours are well known for their rejuvenating powers. For example:
- If you feel confused and are in search of clarity, go to space where there are colours of green and blue, which have a calming effect.
- If you’re looking for creative ideas, place yourself in the midst of vibrant colours (like a flower garden), which can stimulate the senses.
- If you’re not able to visit nature right away, close your eyes and visualise it with all of your senses: See in your minds’ eye all the colours of a season; hear the sounds of birds and creeks; smell the fresh air. It’s a nice mental vacation – perhaps just what your mind needs to rejuvenate!
Check out another post of mine here about nature and creativity
Don’t wait for life to be perfect. It never will be. Start living your inspired life now.