Anyone who works creatively, whether for work or hobbies, will sooner or later experience a block – those times when the inspiration refuses to flow and your muses have gone radio silent. Creativity on demand is challenging for even the most gifted individuals out there, but when you have to deliver on a creative project for work or meeting deadlines, it can be hugely frustrating.
When you’re stuck in a rut, pushing forward and trying to force the ideas to come isn’t necessarily the best approach. Sometimes, what your right-brain needs to loosen up those golden nuggets of inspiration is to walk away from whatever you’re working on and give it some breathing space.
Throughout the ages, creatives have turned to nature as a source of inspiration – from poets, to authors, to artists and philosophers. If you’re struggling with your own creative dry spell, try looking beyond your desk and get outside to hear what mother nature has to say.
How does nature help rekindle your creativity?
Being in nature immerses you in a full on sensory experience. Take a walk through a forest and you’ll be greeted with the sounds of birds, trees creaking, leaves rustling, the air around you, and your feet as they squelch and crunch on the ground. The spiced aroma of decaying leaves on the forest floor hits your nose, the sweet scent of flowers, freshly cut grass, damp earth after the rain, woodsmoke from a nearby cottage.
The smells and sounds of nature instantly awaken those creative parts of your brain, linking to memories, experiences, emotions, and also forcing you to become more present and really focus on what’s going on around you. Simply allowing your brain to come back to the ‘now’ gives it a much-needed chance to rest and restore, unlocking your creativity once more.
Then there’s the visual aspects of nature which help to boost your creativity. The wide range of different textures, colours, patterns and shapes found in nature can help to inspire you by giving your brain new and interesting stimuli.
As well as the sensory elements, getting your body moving by walking outdoors and soaking up plenty of fresh air gives your brain an oxygen boost and releases feel-good hormones to help you feel calm and focused.
Letting your brain relax and not think about the particular creative task you are doing can actually encourage your subconscious mind to solve the problem for you. Your own thoughts and emotions regarding a project could be triggering stress hormones and the ‘fight or flight’ response, making your left brain hone in on trying to find a solution to the problem, when really what you need is to relax enough for your right brain to recharge and rekindle that creative spark.
What helps boost your creativity? Do you find being in nature inspiring? Connect with me on Twitter and LinkedIn and let’s carry on the conversation.
Melissa Brannlund is the features writer and editor, for author Anita Frost.
Look out for Melissa's latest articles on Anita Frost's author website, where she'll talk about topics including: Business| TV | Music | Publishing, along with author news and events, and giving back to communities.
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