In a Creativity Rut? Here’s How to Get Out of the Slump
By Lawrence Mager
Even the most creative minds throughout history become stuck in a creative rut from time to time. What keeps them going, other than waiting it out, is that they continuously seek out ways to promote mental fitness, which in turn fuels creativity. What works for one may not work for another, and that’s why you often read about the unusual habits of great creatives and inventors like Stephen King and Thomas Edison.
Inventor Yoshiro Nakamatsu, who has 3,000 patents under his belt (including the floppy disk), gets his inspiration from near-drowning. While you may not be inclined to try something quite so extreme, you might be intrigued enough to try a few of the mental fitness hacks below.
Pursue a State of Flow
The state of flow is often described as being ‘in the zone’ or hyper-focused, but it’s not so easy to achieve. To get there, you’ll need to think critically about what’s happening both inside and outside your mind when you’ve reached peak performance – and then replicate those circumstances in order to intentionally reach a state of flow anytime you choose.
Engage in Distractions
If you’re facing a particularly challenging dilemma and can’t seem to come up with creative solutions, take a few minutes to engage in a completely unrelated task. Distractions may seem counter-productive when there’s work that must be done. But when you’re stuck, a distraction can be exactly what your mind needs to disengage and then come back with a fresh perspective. Play a card game or video game, write in a journal for a few minutes, read a book, call a friend, or go for a walk.
Listen to Brain-Boosting Music
Some people find that classical music playing in the background makes them more creative. Others prefer a more targeted approach by listening to binaural beats, which stimulate the brain in certain ways to promote creativity and mindfulness. Another option is iscochronic tones, which are rhythmic, pulsing beats that guide your brain to a frequency that’s optimal for creativity.
Change Your Environment
Your environment can have a tremendous impact on your creativity, so it makes sense that switching things up can be beneficial when you’re mentally fatigued or stuck in a creative rut. Even changing the color of your computer’s background can influence your creativity: red is ideal for analytical tasks, while blue is associated with tranquility and helpful for promoting the free-flowing of thoughts and ideas and fostering an exploratory mindset.
Drink a Tall Glass of Water
It’s not actually quite as simple as merely drinking a single glass of water, but proper hydration is crucial for mental fitness, clarity, and creativity. Thirst and dehydration are known to hinder concentration, and because your brain is comprised of 73 percent water, it’s not hard to see why. Enjoying a tall, refreshing glass of ice water can certainly give you a boost when you’re in the midst of a creativity crisis, but making sure your water intake is ideal for optimal hydration is key all day, every day.
There’s no need to wait it out when you’re feeling drained and mentally exhausted. The next time it feels like every creative bone in your body is broken, try a few of these mental hacks for a creativity boost. Of course, if you’re so inclined, you can always try some of the unusual habits employed by the world’s creative geniuses.
Image via Pixabay by tookapic