Do you ever envy those people who can think of ideas at the spur of the moment? They offer up creative solutions and you wonder how in the world did they come up with that idea?
You may watch your children play and wonder how their imagination takes over and they believe they are Spiderman or when you play tea party how your little girl believes her stuffed animals are having a conversation. Kids are full of creative ideas.
Or maybe you read a great book or look at a piece of art that really touches you inside and wish you could be that creative. You may even think, “How do these musicians come up with these songs?”
Creativity is not only for artists though. Many jobs in the business world also require creativity. Read below our guide to find tips & tricks in order to increase focus & creativity.
If you’re in advertising and marketing, for instance, you must be creative to come up with unique ideas that beat the competition. In the business world, you always need to be prepared with a “plan B” and that may mean finding creative solutions in a hurry.
Engineers, architects, and even mathematicians need creativity to do their jobs.
If you want to be more creative, you might want to start thinking about meditation as a technique to help you get those juices flowing.
Whether you are a writer, actor, artist or just want better problem-solving skills, meditation can help you come up with those unique ideas you’re craving, help with problem-solving and even help you concentrate better.
What Blocks Creativity?
When you need to be creative, sometimes you are just plain stumped. You feel like there’s a wall in front of you and there is no way to get around it. Here’s what happens in your brain when you’re trying to have that breakthrough moment.
The Mother Board
The neocortex is the top layer of the brain and the biggest part of the brain. It goes all the way from the frontal lobe to the back of the head. It has 6 layers and receives input from the two other regions of the brain (more on that in a minute).
The neocortex is involved in a lot of brain functions such as spatial reasoning, sensory perception, visioning, problem-solving and you guessed it, creative thinking.
Since it works on a variety of processes, the neocortex gets picky. It will only process things that the other two parts of the brain agree on. Everything must be in harmony.
Below the neocortex is the limbic system. This part of the brain handles emotions, memory, and motivation. When you are emotionally upset or distressed, the limbic system is activated and is too busy putting out fires to allocate resources for creative thought.
The Primal Zone
The amygdala is the most primitive part of the brain. You can think of it as a reptilian. It oversees fear and is responsible for the fight or flight response as well as the mating instinct and hunger needs. It only likes to work on things that deal with survival. It has no idea what a creative thought is.
What this translates to is that if you are worried about something, stressed, having relationship problems, problems at work, etc. Your brain doesn’t bother with trying to give you creative inspiration, it just wants to solve your emotional problem.
Only when the reptilian part of the brain is calm and the emotional brain is satisfied, will the motherboard say, “Hey, I have a great idea!”
Meditation and Creativity
Meditation can be the perfect technique to help the brain become more in sync so that the creative process can flow. Studies on problem-solving have shown that meditation can help with finding solutions.
In a study done by the Leiden Institute for the Brain in the Netherlands, researchers looked at two types of meditation in relation to creativity and focus. They looked at Focused Attention (FA) meditation and Open Mind (OM) meditation.
Focused Attention meditation concentrates on a focus such as breathing, and you concentrate on how the breath feels. Whatever bodily sensations you have, outside noises that are heard, or thoughts that creep in, they are ignored.
Open Mind meditation is a full acceptance of whatever the moment has to offer. OM focuses on you acknowledging the thoughts that come into your consciousness without reacting to them.
The study looked at how both of these methods affected creative and divergent thinking (a way of thinking that generates new ideas in a situation where more than one solution is correct).
The study involved 19 participants who had been meditating for about two years. After a meditation session, they were given 6 common household items (brick, shoe, newspaper, pen, towel, bottle) and asked to list as many uses for each item that they could think of.
The researchers found that OM meditation led to better performance on tasks that distributed attention.
Creativity is the joining of divergent and convergent thinking
Another study found that meditation also improves insight problem-solving, which is the spontaneous discovery of a solution. Researchers found that mindfulness meditation may facilitate the process. Showing a link between meditation and creativity.
The above studies included participants that were advanced meditators. However, a Chinese study found that participants with no previous meditation experience that meditated for 30 minutes a day for 7 days also had improved creativity performance!
These studies indicate that Open-Minded mediation meditation helps induce a controlled state that promotes divergent thinking. Focused meditation, on the other hand, sustains convergent thinking which promotes one solution to a problem.
These studies also concluded that those who meditated were able to find solutions to problems quickly and figure out how to solve the problem more easily with fewer steps.
Those who did not meditate regularly have a hard time finding solutions to easy problems and usually became frustrated.
Creativity lives in the subconscious mind. We only use a small portion of the brain, the rest houses our subconscious mind that holds our memories, dreams, and creativity. The subconscious is like a big reservoir.
In order to dive deeper into the powerful subconscious, you must quiet the conscious mind. That’s where meditation comes in, it quiets the mind and lets your subconscious be heard!
How can we increase these skills with Meditation?
Another area that meditation helps with is the area of focus. If you’ve ever been working on something and get interrupted, when you go back to try to work on it, you can’t concentrate anymore. That’s because the brain is not geared to multitask. Your concentration drops every time you break away and then go back to a task.
Meditation can help with concentration in a few ways:
Get back on focus faster
When you meditate, and a thought comes into your head or your mind starts wandering, you get into the habit of bringing your focus back to your breath or sound. This filters into daily life.
When you are trying to concentrate on something and you get interrupted, you learn to get back in focus quickly so you can finish the task.
Meditation helps reduce stress by helping the brain to react more calmly to stress. This allows you to stay calmer under pressure and not let little things bother you. A calmer mind allows you to focus longer on the task at hand.
You don’t have to be a long-time meditator either to start improving your focus. Participants in a study on focus improved reading comprehension scores on the GRE and working memory after only two weeks of a mindfulness training course.
Since a meditative practice work towards sustaining attention and ignoring unwanted thoughts, it’s only natural that it translates into a greater focus on your work. The ability to focus can also help push those emotional thoughts aside to make room for creative thoughts.
In order to work and contribute to society, you need focus and creativity. Creativity helps you to become relevant by thinking outside the box.
Will guided meditations help increase our natural creativity and focus?
We all need creativity in our lives because we use it every day even when we don’t realize it. Whether you are trying to solve a problem at work, or putting together a meal from leftovers, or trying to teach students at any grade level, it involves creativity and meditation can help you start to think more creatively.
Beginning a meditation practice is not difficult. Mindtastik has hundreds of guided meditations to help you not only bring out your creativity but also work on other aspects of your life you’ve been wanting to improve.
Meditation helps you look inward and gives you a heightened awareness so you begin to make the right choices. It allows you to concentrate so you can focus better on tasks and improve your learning. Meditation also helps you with creative problem-solving.
If you want to make improvements in yourself and your life, a guided meditation app like ours is a way to change the way your brain thinks.
Download MindTastik, one of the best meditation app, today to start seeing how meditation can change your life.Tags: creativity, focus, meditation for creativity, meditation for focus