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8 ways to find creative inspiration

8 ways to find creative inspiration

Inspiration can strike as if from nowhere. You’ve been stuck for days behind a creative roadblock only to have a sudden burst of an idea that reignites your passion and drive. While these moments can be welcome relief from creative frustration, waiting for inspiration to strike isn’t something you can plan for. Who has time to wait for inspiration to arrive when you’re on a deadline? 

Sometimes you need to get creative ASAP, even when you’re feeling totally uninspired. Luckily, creativity can be ignited, usually when you stop thinking about it. Don’t wait for creativity to come to you. Try these tips for making creative inspiration happen:

When you hit a creative hurdle, sometimes the simplest way around it is to get away from it for a while. Instead of staring at a blank page, screen or canvas, do something else instead. Work on a hobby or do an activity you enjoy, spend some time with people you like or just relax and let yourself daydream.

Research has proven that exercise has a stimulating effect on the brain, improving cognition and helping to generate new thoughts. Even a brief walk can help us think better. Plus, people who exercise regularly have been found to think more creatively than those who don’t.  

If your mind is feeling stagnant, give it a jolt by seeking out new experiences. It can be something simple, like working in a different space than usual or eating at a new restaurant, or something big like an exciting vacation or an activity you’ve been scared to try. 

Studies have shown that the color blue encourages people to think more creatively. It’s a color connected to feelings of peace and calm. Blue inspires a feeling of safety and comfort that allows for better outside-the-box thinking.

Head to a forest or waterfront and you’ll see color therapy at work. We feel tranquil in nature not only because shades of blue and green are relaxing but also because it’s an environment that stimulates all the senses. Find an area teeming with natural beauty to get yourself inspired.

According to research, complex music that utilizes certain frequencies — like those found in classical music — can improve brain function, particularly creativity and intelligence. If your creative juices stop flowing, try turning on some Mozart or Beethoven and see what happens.

Creative thinking has been linked to positive emotions but studies have found that negative feelings can also inspire creativity. Think of it as a healthy outlet for anger or sadness. Next time you’re dealing with a negative emotion, try channeling those feelings into your creative outlet.

Let yourself seek inspiration from other creative types. Spend some time at the bookstore, art gallery, or movie theatre with the creations you admire. It can be particularly helpful to enjoy something different from what you’re working on. If you’re a writer, check out some art. If you’re a painter, go see live music.