Use Your Creative Mind to Increase Your Happiness
Studies have shown that people are at their happiest when they are involved in being creative. Many might think this refers to creating something artistic, or some profound act of creativity associated with artists, actors, and the like.
But, to be creative can be simply to use one's mind to dream! We all know how to dream! And by simply opening your mind and allowing yourself to imagine what it is you most want, you are actually doing something to further you toward that goal.
All those years of daydreaming as a kid and being scolded to get busy may have been setting the stage for actively creating a life that has meaning for you as an adult.
Maybe the adults who scolded those of us who were known to spend endless hours lost in daydreams didn't realize that we were actually building something concrete?
Read along with me to understand that within you is a deep well of creativity and learn how to unlock it to get closer to fulfilling the dreams in your heart.
Maybe you feel you are not at all creative; have never been able to draw, paint, sculpt or write music. But, we will discover that creativity resides in each of us and that it doesn't require a published book, hit song on the radio, or a famous work of art crafted from your hands to mean you have creative potential.
When we immerse ourselves in creating something, even a dream, we also open our minds to possibilities that perhaps otherwise aren't seen.
Furthermore, we are all co-creators in the very lives we lead. Our thoughts, beliefs, and ultimately the choices we make all have a role in creating the very life we are living.
If you would like to unlock your creative potential, continue reading.
Be Open to Everything and Attached to Nothing
Many years ago I had a friend who was known to say "Expectation equals Disappointment." At the time I felt he was terribly cynical, which in retrospect he actually was.
But, in the thirty years that have transpired since I first heard this sentiment, I feel like I understand it and actually concur.
I think that it would be a pretty sad life if we didn't have some expectation or anticipation of something to look forward to. But, when we drop the attachment to the outcome we open all kinds of potential for greater success.
I mention this in relation to opening your creative process. If you go into whatever endeavor with a set expectation, you are likely to experience disappointment. However, if you simply expect the situation to ultimately be positive, or neutral, likely it will be.
That is not to say that everything we wish for is going to happen, but that if we have a broader hope for what occurs it is likely to be a positive experience.
For instance, when I decided to write I didn't set myself up with the expectation that I'd be published or ever make any money from my writing. That is not to say that I don't hope to make some money from the work I do, or to eventually be published; I absolutely would love either or both of those scenarios to come true for me. But, I am not attached to that result, so I'm still very content to open my mind's creativity and to write. The joy I feel is in the creation of the articles that I write. I enjoy choosing my topic and then letting it percolate as I consider how I might lay it out. I carefully choose a few graphics to add to my piece and that utilizes another part of the creative process.
Or, this morning I decided to get started early on a summer salad that I'm excited to make. As I cut up the cherries and cashews and sang along to some music, I felt the creativity surging in my brain and suffusing me with a pure kind of contentment. I was in the moment of crafting a meal, singing along to beloved songs, and in the back of my mind I was writing this article.
We are blessed to have these amazing brains, capable of thinking all kinds of thoughts simultaneously and to be able to create almost anything we set our minds to! Knowing this, we can tap into our creativity and really allow ourselves to experience happiness in a way that perhaps we have not yet believed possible.
When you envision your ideal situation, don't skimp! See every beautiful detail and then embellish it even further!
If you want to be a writer, then write and see yourself as successful as you can dream to be. It may or may not come to fruition, but you will get a lot further by visualizing yourself being successful that not to do so.
But, let's start small and work our way up to the big stuff. Think about some simple ways to use your creativity to create a bit more contentment or joy in your life.
One can use their creativity daily in the kitchen; cooking and maybe getting bold with a bit more seasoning than the recipe calls for, or not even using a recipe and creating a dish that you find appealing. Gardening and home decorating are two other ways in which you can use your creative mind and achieve some beauty at the same time. Singing karaoke, coloring in a color book with your children or grandchildren, coming up with a new way to do your hair or the hair of a loved one, writing, visioning boards, sewing, drawing, journaling.....the list is endless! All of these things and more are utilizing the creative part of your brain. The more you use it, the more you will want to be creative.
There are several tools one can utilize that will also help go a long way toward unleashing more of the creative energy you have stored. Read further to learn some of these helpful tools.
Tapping Your Creativity
There are a lot of things that you can do to open up your creative mind. One tool that I've recently availed myself of is called Morning Pages. What you do is upon waking, before doing anything else, write three full pages of stream of consciousness thinking. Not exactly journaling, but really a more shoot from the hip kind of approach to journaling.
The idea is to tap into the barely awake brain, before ego and thinking happen. This is the purest essence of your consciousness just waiting to be tapped. I keep a small journal and a pen right at my bedside table. Upon waking, before even getting up to use the bathroom, I open my journal and I start writing.
Some days it is difficult to stop at only three pages; some days three pages is just enough. What I have discovered is that this is a wonderful, clean way to start the day. It taps what is going on unconsciously and moves it to the conscious. Maybe there are dreams that might otherwise have been forgotten that had important information we need. Or, a dilemma you've been concerned with might suddenly seem to have a solution!
It was a challenge for me to start this and to stick with it. I suppose if I'm being honest, I was lazy and thought it was a lot easier to get up and on with the day. But, I am very happy that I pushed myself a bit as I'm already feeling that I've tapped a bit more creativity from this practice.
Another suggestion is to simply journal. This can take place at any time of your day or night. You just open up your notebook or journal (so many lovely journals on the market) and write. It's still a bit stream of consciousness, but not as raw as that first thing in the morning. You can go back and read your entries or you may never do that; either way, there is something very powerful in the act of writing, and not just thinking about something.
Studies have shown that people who write down their intention are 40% more likely to achieve it, than those who merely think or speak about it without writing. That ought to be a good motivation!
And while it may be less effective, it is still worthwhile to speak about things that matter to you! By putting it into words and sharing it with another, there is now another person involved in your dream. It's not that they are going to take the ball and run with it for your success, but rather that the collective good is greater than the individual.
Why not invoke as many people on your side as possible? Recently I was at my monthly group meeting, and at the close of the meeting we were asked to share with each other one thing that could be held in consciousness for us. I decided to ask that everybody consider my desire to travel to India in 2018. By doing that, I now have twelve other people rooting for my success to take this important trip and that is more effective than only dreaming of it myself.
Meditation is another very powerful tool to awaken your creative mind. It is helpful to find time every day to meditate; clear the mind and just be. Some feel that to meditate is to clear the mind and others feel it is a way of watching the thoughts go by and not being attached. However you view it, it is a very powerful tool in use for many centuries.
One need not be a yogi to meditate, and today meditation is becoming more and more widespread. The benefits are myriad, and creativity boosting is only one of the many benefits you will receive.
But, since we are talking about creativity, let's focus on the ways in which meditation can help you increase your creative power.
When you take even ten minutes to sit quietly and just be still with yourself, the subconscious mind is more active than the conscious. It is in this subconscious, or higher consciousness that all your potential rest.
Tapping into this can really open up the creative juices and get you started or move you deeper on the path you are already on.
Start Creating Happiness
Now you have some tools to unlock your creativity.
You can journal, meditate, garden or just daydream! But, the time is now to do something with that brilliant, big, beautiful brain of yours!
Start small, or start big, but start! Even baby steps will move you forward.
I suggest that your first step in opening creativity is in creating positive self talk. Believe in yourself and be gentle, patient and loving with yourself. It takes time for change to occur, so take as long as you need.
I'm a big fan of Affirmations. One can write down an affirmation and then tape it where it will be seen several times a day. Read it and say it aloud. Do this long enough and you will really shift into the belief you are affirming. I love this Affirmation: "I am deserving of and ready to receive all the Abundance the Universe has to offer." I have it on my desk where I see it all the while I'm working.
Your affirmation can be anything you like, so long as it's positive. You also can practice looking into the mirror and repeating your affirmation as you look into your eyes. But, either way, this is a powerful tool to manifest and it will work well in stimulating your creativity.
Sometimes the best way to get things moving is just to do it! Whatever it is that feels like a creative expression, do it. Write, color, sing, dance, journal....tap into that wellspring of creativity!
As you start to experience some happiness or joy in what you create, you'll be encouraged to create even more. It's one of those things that the more you practice being creative, the more creative you will be! It is a momentum that builds on itself.
No dream is too big or too small. If it lights you up, go for it!