Not everyone’s of the creative mind, and we get that – hell, we right brain-reliant types probably couldn’t solve a math equation to save our life.
But as writers, we’re asked on the regular by fellow young professionals (YPs) – whether young entrepreneurs looking to set themselves apart in business or others simply seeking a creative outlet – how to tap into that right brain mindset and get those creative juices flowing.
It isn’t as difficult as you’d think, and there are actually creative stimuli everywhere. What it actually comes down to, however, are things that relax and open your mind and put you in the mood to actually creatively think in the first place.
Here are 9 examples to get you started…
1. The rain
Especially if you’re indoors, tucked away by a window with a cup of tea in hand, the rain and grey skies have the ability to transport anyone into a dream-like state that only facilitates creative thought, along with limitless daydreams (and some of the best ideas transpire from daydreams). With fall here, we can expect more of the ever-so-dreamy wet stuff too.
Whether writing a speech for your best friend’s wedding or brainstorming creative ideas for a new side project or business venture, the best way to do so is to get as physically comfortable as possible – as in the oldest, comfiest pair of sweatpants you own. If you restrict your body in those rigid business clothes or tight jeans, you restrict your mind as well, as far as we’re concerned. And yes, that’s the reason we like working from home.
3. The ocean
Though a lot of us Canadians don’t get to experience it as much as we’d like (yup, we’re jealous of you Vancouver YPs), there’s nothing more powerful when it comes to opening the mind than the ocean. Whether you’re sitting pensively imagining what and who exactly lays on the other side, or finding your stress levels disappear with each crash of the waves, the ocean has the ability to free you of all those daily worries and inspire you to actually live in the moment – opening up that brain to all sorts of creative thought. Not to mention the salt air…
4. The train
There’s a reason why a longtime tried and true tactic of parents to get their children to sleep has involved a repeated drive around the block. Motion has the calming ability to both put us to sleep and also relax our mind, enabling it to wander to all sorts of creative places (especially when it means a gorgeous train ride through the countryside).
5. The shower
We mean, singing in the shower is a thing, even amongst those who would never dare to sing out loud otherwise. There’s a reason (aside from how much better your voice sounds within the confines of your shower walls) that some of the best ideas of brilliant minds have been born out of soapy suds – and songs – in the shower. And no, we can’t really explain it, but the absence of any other stimulant (i.e. cell phones and computers) and the soothing, solitary effect of the hot water may play a role.
6. Live art, music, or theatre
One of the best ways to get inspired creatively is to (not so shockingly) surround yourself with creative things and people. You already know that there’s absolutely no shortage of art-related events happening in your city on any given night. Ditch the 3-D Hollywood blockbuster or hot new restaurant and hit up an art exhibition, open mic, or indie theatre show. You may just leave with new energy to fuel your own creative fire.
We know (and we’re guilty of it too), it’s been awhile since you’ve read a novel in its entirety. But, as opposed to watching a film (which, by the way, we’re not knocking), reading a novel requires your brain to do a little more work in the imagination department, opening your mind, and forcing you to visualize the characters, places, and interactions that take place within the pages.
8. Venturing out of your social circle
Creativity is as infectious as that one brutal cold that goes around each winter. Creative minds feed and build off each other – and that’s a fact. Open your mind and social circle up to unexpected friendships and interactions with those young professionals in the creative sectors. Not only will you gain new, unexpected friendships, the conversation will mark a refreshing departure from banter about spreadsheets, the stock market, and (hopefully) petty gossip.
9. The music of your youth
Remember a time when the possibilities of the future were limitless? When you’d stare at the sky and imagine who you’d marry, what you’d do for a living, and where you’d end up living in a blissfully unaware sense of wonder? Us too. Then reality hit. One of the best ways to rediscover that mindset of wonder is to create a playlist reflective of those times – whether it means campfire favourites like Dave Matthews Band or Tragically Hip, or junior high dance go-tos like Offspring, Spice Girls, and Oasis. Trust us, it will open up your (slightly) jaded mind.