Feeling uninspired, or just looking for your next big idea? You could get quite the creativity boost by trying these three practices.
Look to your own sky.
Rashmi Bismark, M.D., a preventative medicine physician and Yoga Medicine instructor, noted that there have been a slew of studies touting the health benefits of meditation on health, but few about its effects on creativity.
A small 2012 study found that open-monitoring style of meditation—when you have a receptive, open awareness compared to focusing on an item or thought—was better at improving creativity.
Bismark recommends a form of open-monitoring meditation known as The Sky of Awareness. To do it, settle into a comfortable seated posture and imagine your mind as expansive as the sky. Take in environmental sounds and sensations in your body. When it comes to thoughts, emotions and images, remember that they change like weather patterns.
“Instead of ignoring them or pushing them aside, see if it is possible to open attention to all of them coming and going, along with sounds and sensations,” she says. “Allow for the unfolding of life just as it is, remembering the breath is always available as an anchor when you need it.”
Kate Kerr, a Canada-based mindfulness consultant, said mindfulness is key to cultivating creativity.
“Mindfulness is about having a curious, open attitude to your present moment experiences, whatever they are,” she said. If we can cultivate a beginner’s mind—seeing things from a new perspective—it can increase our skill in seeing things with a fresh pair of eyes and innovative thinking.”