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  • Melissa Sims

Unblocking the Power of Creativity

Creativity is not just about artistic expression; it is a powerful tool for mental agility, problem-solving, and emotional balance.


As I sit here writing my third blog for 2024, I am out of ideas. I wrote about creativity for our leadership team last week and was thinking I would somehow touch on the same topic for you, but write it differently so it was more appropriate for the audience. Well, I read the blog I wrote. Over and over. I just could not, for the life of me, come up with any new ideas. My brain is giving me the signals that it is over it, which makes my brain then (logically) question what I am doing with my life…then, remember that I forgot to make a dentist appointment…then, see if I remembered to thaw the chicken for dinner…and finally…wait…what was I talking about? 



This is what we like to call a BLOCK. Writers block, creator block, insert whatever type of activity and add BLOCK, OUT OF IDEAS, MENTAL FATIGUE, etc. Our brain becomes fatigued with something, so begins to create distractions to pull us away from the thing we most need to be doing. So, as I was lamenting over my block, I decided to just walk away. I know better; I could feel the stress rising and knew I needed a breather. So, instead of pushing through and being totally unproductive, I went outside and sat in the sun for 10 minutes. 


It’s funny when we get stressed out, we sometimes forget all of the wonderful tools we have acquired over the years to help us manage our emotions and push through to the other side. One of those tools is the self awareness to realize that productivity will flounder when you are blocked, and a great way to get through that block is to do something meditative or mindful. Sitting in the sun may not have been meditation like you picture in your head, but it was a reprieve from the distracting thoughts pulling me away from my work. Once I was satisfied that my thoughts no longer resembled a ping-pong ball, I returned to my office with the idea to write exactly what I was dealing with. I am sure you have to be creative at times, so I thought it could be helpful.


Why do we even need creativity in our lives? In a nutshell, creativity stimulates various parts of the brain, fostering neural connections. When engaged in creative activities, the brain's frontal lobe, which is responsible for planning and problem-solving, becomes highly active. This stimulation enhances cognitive functions such as memory, attention, and processing speed. Moreover, creativity triggers the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure and motivation. This release not only boosts mood but also encourages us to engage further in creative endeavors, creating a positive feedback loop of inspiration and productivity.


Creative activities are also an effective antidote to anxiety. They shift focus away from worries and stressors, providing a sense of calm and control. The deep creative process – known as 'flow' – can be particularly therapeutic, akin to a meditative state where time and external pressures seem to dissolve. 


But what if my ‘creativity’ is stressing me out???

Overcoming Creative Blocks: Meditation and Mindfulness


While the benefits of creativity are clear, the hurdle often lies in overcoming creative blocks. This is where meditation and mindfulness come into play. We often think of meditation as just a tool for relaxation, or to calm anxiety and fear, but it’s also a catalyst for creativity. By quieting the mind, meditation allows us to tap into deeper levels of thought and imagination. Regular meditation practice can lead to an increase in creative thinking and problem-solving abilities.


Mindfulness, as you likely know if you follow anything we do, is about being fully present and engaged in the current moment. Have you ever avoided trying something new because of fear of failure? Mindfulness can help you overcome that hesitation to try something simply by not worrying about what could happen, and simply paying attention to what is happening. You will fail at certain things. I, for example, am not what you would call an “artist” - my best drawings are done on scratch paper playing Pictionary. But would I try an art class? Absolutely! Will I fail? Probably. The experience is what matters, because even if I am terrible at it, I still did something for my brain that is beneficial. 


Here are some tips if you are feeling blocked:


1. Start Your Day with Meditation: Begin with just 10 minutes of meditation each morning to clear your mind and set a positive tone for the day.

2. Mindful Breathing: Whenever you feel a creative block, pause and focus on your breath for a few minutes. This helps in resetting your mental state.

3. Visualization Techniques: Use meditation to visualize your goals or the outcome of your creative project. This can be a powerful motivator and clarity-provider.

4. Mindful Observation: Dedicate time to observe your surroundings without judgment. This practice can spark new ideas and perspectives.

5. Self-Awareness: You may not even realize that you are doing something meditative, so pay attention to your mood. Are you humming? Is time passing quickly while you are intently focused? Chances are, your brain finds that activity meditative.

6. Journaling: Keep a daily journal to reflect on your thoughts and feelings. This can provide insights into your creative blocks and patterns. Need a journal prompt? We have plenty available for you on our Instagram page. 


To reap the benefits of creativity, make it a part of your daily routine. Be sure to set aside time for your creative outlet, whether it's drawing, writing, or any other form of creative expression, dedicate regular time to it. Our brains operate mostly out of habit, so the more we can introduce new, non-routine concepts to it, we can open our awareness even further.


Creativity is a vital component of mental well-being and cognitive health. By integrating creativity with meditation and mindfulness practices, we can enhance our brain power, reduce anxiety, and navigate through creative blocks with greater ease and joy. Remember, creativity is a journey, not a destination. Embrace each step of this journey with an open mind and a present heart. 


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