Picture courtesy of Shutterstock

Picture courtesy of Shutterstock

 

Last week I spoke about how important creativity is in helping us lead a more fulfilling life. Now let’s explore how we can foster more creative inspiration and expression in our day to day lives.

 

Step One – Play More

 

Dr. Brown, founder of the National Institute for Play, claims that playing promotes our being open to new ideas and increases our creativity. Play can be defined as something we do for the sake of it, with the process prized above the outcome.

 

Without realising it, I was playing all the time by singing but not all play is necessarily creative – laughing with friends is just as playful as singing! Dr. Brown cites play as art, books, movies, music, comedy, flirting, sport and even daydreaming. Adventure can also be an integral part of play, with novelty often adding to our sense of enjoyment. Create more time for play in your life and have fun whilst boosting your creativity.

 

If you want to integrate more play in your life, stay tuned for next February’s series titled ‘How to Avoid Problems by Integrating Play’.

 

Playful activities you can engage in include:

 

Spontaneous

 

  • Singing along to one of your favourite songs
  • Dancing
  • Laughing and joking with friends
  • Listening to music
  • Impromptu shopping
  • Taking a walk

 

Non-Spontaneous

 

  • All sports
  • Board games
  • Creating art
  • Arts and crafts
  • Sewing or knitting
  • Karaoke
  • Bowling
  • Going to the cinema
  • Going to a museum or exhibition
  • Going to a concert
  • Going on holiday

 

Step Two – Enjoy Alone Time

 

Leo Babauta, the sole contributing author of Zen Habits.net (one of the top twenty-five blogs in the world with a monthly readership of over one million people), says that ‘creativity flourishes in solitude’. In his article he cited creative people throughout history, including Mozart and Einstein, who have all spoken on the value of solitude to their creativity. What was most evident was that the time spent alone was seen as quality time, something to be cherished rather than taken for granted. Popular ways to spend more quality time alone is to go for walks, spend time in a contemplative state of mind or to meditate.  I often go to a local church when it’s not in service to light a candle and think about life.

 

Ways you can spend some quality alone time include:

 

  • Scenic walks
  • Having a coffee at a cafe and people watching
  • Reading
  • Going to the cinema
  • Going to a beautiful restaurant
  • Meditating
  • Listening to music
  • Visualising
  • Having a long hot bath

 

Stay tuned – next week we will look at steps three through to five which will allow your creativity to soar.

 

Do you have enough care free play in your life? Does the idea of spending quality time alone appeal to you? What activities shared in the lists of this article do you think you would like to try out? Please share your thoughts in the comments below to gain encouragement, support and insight from our community, we’d love to hear from you.

 

Exercises:

 

  1. Try one activity from the play list in this article and see how it makes you feel
  2. Try one activity from the quality alone time list in this article and see how it makes you feel
  3. Integrate the activities that appeal to you from both lists into your free time