Do you ever feel like you’re just tapped out creatively? Whether you suffer from writer’s block or you simply can’t wrap your head around a creative challenge at work, you probably don’t realize how much you rely on your creativity until it’s drained. But there’s good news: there are tons of techniques and tricks that can promote mental fitness and help you get your creative juices flowing again. Here’s a look at a few mental fitness exercises and tactics to try when you need a creative boost.
Take Advantage of Ambient Noise
Studies show that moderate ambient noise is often the best atmosphere for creativity, unless of course you’re one of those people who requires complete silence for serious thinking. If you can take a bit of background noise, take advantage of it. Create a clean and organized space in your home to help reduce stress. Optimizing your home so it is a relaxing place for you to be alone will help get your creative juices flowing.
Play the Brick Game
This game, described by Andy Shack, can be used as part of a group activity to promote creative brainstorming, but you can also do it on your own. To play, select an ordinary object – anything from a paper clip to a rock, a paper weight, pen, DVD, a brick, you name it. Then, think of as many possible uses for the object as you possibly can. Typically, the initial uses are the usual ones, and eventually, you will be forced to think outside the box and come up with strange and unusual ways to use ordinary things.
Play a Game of Cards
If you can take a few minutes to engage in some card game fun, it might just give your brain the workout it needs to solve your most pressing creative challenge. Plan a regular time to play each day to help promote long-term mental fitness.
Create a Mind Map
Some people are visual thinkers and can better solve problems when they’re laid out in front of them. But some problems are abstract, making it hard to visualize the connections between concepts and the various paths to a solution. That’s where mind maps come in, allowing you to visualize any abstract concept by starting with a central idea and branching out with more detailed components, problems, potential solutions, or however you prefer to visualize your situation and develop workable solutions or new ideas.
The Remote Associates Test
A similar sort of mind game as the brick game, the Remote Associates Test requires you to take three unrelated words and come up with a fourth word that’s related to all three (such as time, hair, and stretch, three words which could all be connected by the word ‘long’). 99u, which outlines how to use this activity, also offers some example problems for you to solve, but you can also come up with your own and further flex your creative muscles.
There are hundreds of ways to boost mental fitness and enhance your creativity, but if you’re stuck in a creative rut for the first time and not sure how to break free, these five tactics for enhancing creativity are a great place to start. That said, the realm of creativity is virtually limitless, so feel free to explore your imagination to come up with some unique brain-fitness exercises that work for you.