What is the first thing that springs to mind when you hear the term ‘creativity’? Perhaps your mind automatically jumps to the arts, such as painting, photography and ceramics. Or maybe you considered other forms of art such as music, acting and dance?

Many people tend to identify with creativity as being artistic, yet, when you think about it creativity actually takes place in many, if not all the different areas of our lives.

Not sure about this? Just take a moment to think about the last time you were creative. 

It might not have been the last time you picked up an instrument, or your most recent attempt to create a piece of art. Maybe you had to tap into your creative brain to come up with a different approach to solving a problem, or a way to juggle a limited budget? Perhaps you have needed to get creative in order to put together a last minute costume for an impromptu dress up party, or create a delicious meal using the remaining contents of your fridge? 

The truth is that, whether you are artistically inclined or not, creativity plays an important role in everyone's life. It is both a talent and and a skill that taps into the lateral and creative parts of our brain. Holding qualities of imagination, resourcefulness and initiative, creativity helps us with problem-solving, being artistic, as well as enhancing the way we interact with the world around us.

It doesn’t matter if you are an artist, a musician, a school teacher, a business manager or an entrepreneur, creativity is something that can be embraced by everyone to not only increase productivity, but also enhance their quality of life.

 Here are 9 tips you can implement to help you unlock and inspire your inner creativity!

  1. Let Go Of Comparisons - Everyone is different. Literally everyone. We all have our own strengths and we all have our own weaknesses. Even though it is human nature to occasionally make the odd comparison to others, doing so can be a real creative buzz kill. Thinking about what others have or don’t have, or what they can or cannot do, compared to yourself, has a way of making us despondent and start to doubt ourselves. In the immortal words of Sylvia Plath, “The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt”. When we get ourselves stuck thinking about what we don’t have or what we cannot do (because there is always going to be someone who has more or can do something better… That is just life!) we lose our inspiration and drive. So instead of focusing on what you may or may not have compared to others, focus on what you do have, and what you can do to make your life even more abundant in the areas that are important to you.

  1. Be Brave - Stepping outside of your comfort zone and trying something new is a fantastic way to inspire creativity. It is so easy to become a creature of habit, and there is nothing wrong with sticking with what you know and like, however challenging yourself to try new things and be a braver version of yourself will help inspire your inner creativity! So next time you are out at a party, why not be the first on the dance floor, or introduce yourself to people you don’t yet know, or wear a daring outfit you have always loved, but been unsure of!

  1. Embrace Your Inner Child - Children are naturally unencumbered and creative, often creating whole new worlds to play in, using only their imaginations and a few cardboard boxes! Spending time interacting with children is an excellent way to embrace your own inner child and in doing so inspire your own creativity.

  1. Learn A New Skill - Learning a new skill challenges your brain to grasp new concepts and skills, which mean that it is being activated to work outside of what it is used to. This type of challenge encourages your brain to think outside of the box and inspires creativity.

  1. Exercise Your Brain - Much like the muscles in your body need to be used to keep them strong and flexible, your brain needs to be exercised to keep it strong and healthy as well. Strategic or memory games, such as chess, sudoku, memory and even puzzles all stimulate the function of your brain, helping keep your problem-solving skills sharp and creative.

  1. Meditate On It - Meditations, especially guided visualisations, not only help you unwind and reduce stress levels (stress being a real hindrance to creativity), but they help stimulate your imagination, whilst also working to develop mindfulness. Both of these are skills that will help you tap into your inner creative genius.

  1. Spend Time In Nature - Even if you are a city kid through and through, there is something inspiring about nature that seems to take us back to a core self. Whether is is walking along a beach, walking through a garden, reading in a park or hiking out in the wilderness, nature has a natural way of grounding you and inspiring your inner creativity.

  1. Motivate Yourself With Music - If you need some inspiration at a specific point in time, try opting to listen to some music, the kind that you enjoy and find uplifting. Music has a wonderful way of getting our creative juices flowing!

  1. Move It - It might be common knowledge that exercising and keeping active are essential to physical health, however, regular exercise is also essential in keeping your mind sharp as well. During aerobic exercise (when your heart is pumping and you are sucking in the oxygen), production of a specific molecule is stimulated through a chain reaction. This molecule, known as ‘irisin’ is believed to have neuroprotective effects, which protect and even help enhance your memory and cognitive function. Both of these play an important role when it comes to tapping into your creative brain. So get moving and get inspired!