5 Cost-Free Ways to Spark Creativity

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Back in 2012, Adobe released a study that revealed that more than 75 percent of individuals feel they aren’t living up to their creative potential. They dubbed it “the creativity gap” and argued that this lack of creativity both at work and at home stifles everything from quality of life to workplace productivity and economic growth.

The “act of turning new and imaginative ideas into reality,” isn’t something we can do without. It fuels progress, keeps us productive and makes life more beautiful each and every day! For some of us, creative pursuits are our life’s work and reason for living. It doesn’t matter if your activities are inherently artistic; creation happens in thousands of ways. Creating a useful spreadsheet as an analyst or developing a new system for patient care is as much a creative pursuit as painting a portrait.

So how can we make sure creativity never dies? Keep reading for tips on how to spark creativity in your own life.

1. Listen to a Famous Work of Music and Do Nothing Else

Music is one of the greatest triumphs of human creativity. It feeds the soul, interacts with our emotions and has the incredible ability to transport us to different times and experiences in an instant. When many people listen to music they see pictures or images. Sometimes certain melodies or underlying rhythms cause us to imagine aspects of nature or even reach an epiphany. Tap into new, creative ideas by opening yourself up to that world; close your eyes so you are distraction-free and just see what comes to mind! Trying to find inspiration in the moment? Start with classical. Trying to find inspiration while you work? Start with ambient music.

2. Find Inspiration Online Through Pinterest, Panda or Tumblr

The internet is full of inspiration for the seeker. Whether you are in need of a new recipe to tickle your tastebuds or need some help finding a solution for a challenge at work, digging in is sure to produce something fantastic. Care2 is a great place to start! Some of the most highly recommended sites for inspiration include Pinterest (careful you don’t get too addicted!), Panda and Tumblr, each of which has a unique take on sharing creative pursuits through tutorials, templates, educational resources, blogging and imagery.

3. Meet With a Friend or Mentor

Sometimes there is nothing more wholesome and inspiring than meeting with someone who really “gets you.” If you are privileged enough to have a friend or mentor you can count on to help you keep an open mind—someone who inspires you through conversation—meet with them! You never know what may happen.

4. Seek Out Solitude in Nature

George Santayana once said, “The earth has music for those who will listen.” Nature presents us with endless sources of beauty, from the way the light hits all unique textures in different ways to the sound of a gentle breeze. What you notice doesn’t really matter, it’s the very act of being in the face of beauty that makes the real impact. A leader in one study that links being outdoors with positive psychological effects said, “we think that [creativity] peaks after about three days of really getting away, turning off the cellphone, not hauling the iPad and not looking for coverage. It’s when you have an extended period of time surrounded by that softly fascinating environment that you start seeing all kinds of positive effects in how your mind works.”

5. Create a Work Space That Keeps You Inspired

The space in which you work can have a truly profound effect on your productivity and creativity. For some, the presence of clutter can be a huge distraction that inhibits the creation of anything beautiful or fantastic; for others, working at a desk piled high with paper notes and indistinguishable scribbles may be the height of creativity. Some thrive in the mess. Whatever your experience, try to create for yourself an environment that keeps you inspired and happy. Fill it with color! Art! Quotes! Anything that keeps your mind spinning with grand ideas.

Creativity is one of humanities greatest pursuits; some might argue it’s the very foundation of our progress. So keep creating! We look forward to seeing how your ideas change our world for the better.

Originally published for Care2 at: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/5-cost-free-ways-to-spark-creativity.html#ixzz46IUcXCzD