Creative block – there is never a shortage of money, only a shortage of ideas!

If you look around at the world, there is more dosh sloshing around than ever before. Governments can print additional funds when needed and millionaires are as common as muck compared to 2,604 billionaires in the world.  

So creativity depends on something else. What stops us, cramping creativity? Usually it is stress, pressures and worry.

The brain evolved in 4 stages. The cerebral cortex, the part needed for executive reasoning, creativity, foresight and planning, is the last evolutionary development. The earlier, more primitive sections are collectively called “the reptilian brain”. Part of our safety and ancient mechanism is a system to signal danger using the reptilian brain with the primary risk assessor, the amygdala.

The amydala is always ready and on high alert and never switches off. It produces the fight/flight/freeze reaction. It also, and this is really important, literally shuts down access to the thinking, clever cerebral cortex. This prevents time-consuming rational thought, allowing us to be immediately reactive to the perceived threat of danger.

Why? Because to survive in moments of threat, taking precious time for cognitive thought could be the difference between life and death. Of course, this was ideal in the Stoneage and but our brains aren’t evolving in line with speed of today’s fast paced and increasingly competitive pace and today’s threats require a different reaction, one of thought and collaboration..

Being Creative today 

To be creative you need to access the cerebral cortex and that needs calm, balance and a feeling of safety. Being bombarded by emails, messages, pings, dings and buzzes interrupts the essential equilibrium needed for those ingenious and problem solving ideas. This is why we have often have great inspirational thoughts in the shower, out for a walk or when we first wake up.

Tips to help boost creativity (you need ideas and they cost nothing). 

Write a to-do list at night and then “sleep on it”. Go for a walk in the morning (when the light is most beneficial for us) having read your list and record the ideas as they flow. You may find having a bath or shower is helpful. The key is not to be focused on the problem but to let your mind think of other, non-stressful things to allow your subconscious to work; ideas and concepts will pop up. If nothing flows, just move on to the next task, eventually something will emerge.

Creativity is right brain activity and by engaging the left brain in other activities like learning a new language (Duo Lingo, free app), sudoku, learning a musical instrument, painting or craftwork, you will free up the right brain to roam and freewheel.

Keep a notebook and pencil on you, jot down things you see, hear, touch, smell and feel when you are out and about, remember to look up to the sky and the building skyline. Make yourself observe your surroundings as if you were a tourist in a new country. Stimulating the senses stimulates creativity and allow the mind to wander.

Even the simple act of writing (instead of keying) is a right brain activity. Allow yourself to gaze into space, to daydream. Never dismiss anything as silly, pointless or unworkable; write it down as it may be the nucleus of something quite profound. Go silent, turn off music and other distractions and give your intuition a chance to surface. Listen to your inner voice.”

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