Ways to improve your creative thinking

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Ways to Improve Your Creative Thinking

Creative thinking can appear to be a mysterious process. Ask anyone who relies on creative thinking in their career such as an entrepreneur, small business owner, writer or inventor. If you question them as to where their ideas came from many times they won’t be able to tell you. Creativity seems to be a sudden outpouring of inspiration or a flash of insight. However, researchers into creative thinking have discovered a far more complex story. You do not have to wait for a flash of insight or a rush of inspiration to come up with a creative idea. You can make yourself more creative.

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Creativity is about connectivity. Many times, a new insight is a connection between two unrelated ideas. Letting your mind wander is a good way to stumble upon a creative solution to a problem you might be facing or onto a new insight. The strange thing about this is that the mind needs to be free enough in order to wander and make those connections which are necessary to creative thinking and yet the mind needs to be focused enough to use those connections. A mind that is too focused will lack creative thinking and a mind that is not focused enough will not be able to do anything with creativity.

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Creative Thinking - image oneThe writer Austin Kleon suggests a potential solution to this conundrum. By carrying around a notebook, you can jot down potential ideas as they come to you. Gradually you may come to discover connections between the ideas you come up with. Go to public places and observe your surroundings. It is possible that something you see or hear might jog the creative part of your brain. Eventually, your notes may come together to form a great idea. Even if they don’t, you may discover unexpected byways or possibilities.

The Psychology of Creativity

Certain emotional states can improve creative thinking. A positive mood increases creative thinking. It is very difficult to do much of anything when you feel anxious or depressed. While it can be difficult to avoid those states at times, if you want to think creatively it is best to stay positive. One way of lifting your mood and therefore boosting your creativity is to listen to happy music. Bright, happy colors like blue and green can also spark a creative mood. Another way to spark creative thinking is to give a problem some distance. If you step back from a problem for a while you might stumble upon a solution you hadn’t considered before.

Creative Thinking - image twoAnother technique which increases creative thinking is to spend time in nature. It’s been known for some time that spending time in nature has beneficial psychological affects. There is something about the feel of the sunlight on your face, the wind in your hair and the feel of life growing all around you that can spark creative thinking. There is also the fact that outdoor activities such as walking, hiking or, for the adventurous, mountain climbing involve physical exercise. Physical exercise has also been shown to improve creativity.

Final Note

Creativity is a state of mind. Some people think that a person has to be born with a particular talent to be creative. However, the mind can be trained to think creatively. By following certain techniques and keeping the right frame of mind you can create amazing things.


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About Charles

Charles Alexander Neal is a graduate of Southern New Hampshire’s creative writing program. He is a novelist, short story writer and locally produced playwright. He also plays the flute and performed with the Cape Fear Community College orchestra.

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