By Stanley Clark.
Are people like Mozart, Picasso, and Edison the only ones who qualify as “creative geniuses?” In the past, people often associated the term with those who used their thinking skills to create game-changing outputs or ideas.
Today the definitions of creative genius and “creativity” itself have evolved into broader definitions. It’s not just about making outstanding paintings, poems, or fashion pieces. The process is also about tapping the brain’s creative components.
Everyone can achieve this goal through means like a creative school for customized learning. The goal is to become more creative, whether a person’s thought processes are generally more logical or artistic.
The Transformation of “Creativity”
The broad meaning of creativity has changed dramatically in recent decades. Today, fewer people perceive it as being simply a good painter or drawer. Instead, today’s experts often perceive creativity as a process that involves both brain hemispheres instead of being more “right-brained” and artistic. For example, a 2014 Penn State University study stated that creative people often had strong connections to particular brain networks(1).
These networks include the “default network,” which has brain regions active at the same time during passive moments. People also use their default network to recall past events or imagine future events(2).
The key is for everyone to learn how to boost their creative thinking. People can take some practical steps to achieve this goal.
7 Ways to Unleash One’s Creativity
1. Allow the Mind to Wander
A person isn’t automatically unfocused if they daydream at school or work. Allowing
the mind to wander will enable one to brainstorm about a topic or solution. For
example, studies sometimes include a creativity test referred to as the alternative uses
test (AUT). This exam requires participants to dream up new uses for everyday items like chewing gum, soap, and paperclips. In one study, the group that practiced mind-wandering during a rest period performed better than the group that completed a demanding task during that time(3).
2. Record Ideas Before Weighing Them
When brainstorming, don’t second-guess each idea before typing or writing it. Creative thinkers can sort out their ideas later and determine whether or not they’re good ones.
3. Stay Self-Challenged
People must keep pushing themselves to improve their creative skills. For example, they can try new things, take different approaches, and find unique solutions. They should also try to find new opportunities to exercise their creativity. This process could involve using new tools and finding new projects.
4. Practice Mindfulness
Mindfulness is the ability of humans to be fully aware of what they’re doing and where they are. This process is the opposite of people being overwhelmed or reactive to the events around them.
Every human can be mindful. While it’s an innate ability that all humans are born with, mindfulness can still be improved upon through various techniques. Some options include meditation and breathing exercises. These steps can help one get back to reality. It allows people to retrain their brains, so they live in the moment.
When boosting creativity, it’s vital to learn from the past and create purpose and drive by dreaming about the future. That said, humans have the most control of the present. Use peace, joy, and gratitude to create a minimum of one important thing every day.
5. Self-reward for Having Curiosity
One roadblock to creativity a person might experience is that they think the process is a luxury. A better approach is to explore new topics and ideas when curious about something. It’s essential to become self-motivated to be curious and creative. Another approach is for people to reward themselves for being more curious.
6. Look at Art, Watch a Play, or Read a Novel
Not only can these activities be entertaining, but they can also help make stronger connections between the brain’s two halves. In turn, these connections can help people think more creatively. The arts provide a way for people to learn about the pleasure of knowing, which can motivate them to explore more, analyze and synthesize, and do critical thinking(4). Creativity requires the emotional evaluation of various brain processes. It can result directly from a person’s spontaneous thought processes. Creative work, such as a Vincent Van Gogh painting, William Shakespeare play, or Robert Frost poem, could also trigger creativity in a person’s brain.
7. Limit Distractions
This step allows people to focus more by removing distractors like videos and music. The process allows one’s brain to focus on things that matter. It can involve simply cleaning an office desk or unplugging devices for a while. Limiting visual and auditory distractions can help one focus on something. Research shows that open-monitoring (OM) meditation could improve participants’ performance in AUT tasks(5). This meditation creates an awareness of a person’s current thoughts, sensations, and feelings. OM meditation can also improve people’s “divergent thinking,” which allows them to create new ideas(6).
Using these basic practices can help a person free their mind to think more creatively. It allows them to solve problems in unique ways and create the life they want. The process doesn’t mean people should ditch logic and think strictly artistically. It’s about exploring other brain pathways and having an open mind.
Even if one draws stick figures and can’t paint art masterpieces, it doesn’t mean they’re unimaginative. If they possess the right tools and techniques, they can still awaken their creative genius.
1. Creativity and the default network
2. The brain’s default network
3. How mind-wandering may be good for you
4. The role of the visual arts in enhancing the learning process
5. Meditate to create
Stanley Clark is a community development volunteer and writer. He has worked on several commercials, events, and campaigns. Recently, he has moved to writing in the area of natural health and wellness, contributing regularly to different sites.