Let’s not pretend that happiness and creativity is something as easy to come by as taking a pill. There are no quick fixes, but that does not mean that there aren’t tools that you can use.
A few weeks ago I was stuck in a rut, battling and a severe case of writer’s block. All creative juices, which had previously flown free, were as stagnant as a tepid swamp, rendering me nearly incapable of creating even the simplest of sentences.
During my dry spell I had plenty of time to reflect on my condition and my life, and found that not only had my creativity disappeared, but also my happiness. After some serious introspection, I learned that the key to curing my writer’s block simply involved boosting my mood.
Recent studies have shown that creativity and happiness go hand in hand, with each boost of joy giving way to free-flowing thoughts and ideas. While the moody, brooding starving artist stereotype is widely accepted, it’s not actually the best way to inspire original ideas. In fact, there’s a strong correlation between creativity and physical and mental well-being, as people that take care of themselves can experience heightened creativity.
Fully equipped with this information, I began a quest for good vibes and creative juices, coming across several successful strategies along the way. If you’re facing a creative dry spell and are searching for solutions, give these get-happy tips and tricks a try.
1. Go to a Café
Aside from copious amounts of caffeinated beverages, there may be a reason why writers often frequent local coffee shops and cafes. According to a recent study, certain levels of white noise can help boost creativity, and a specialty drink has been known to sweeten the deal too.
As trite as the saying may be, laughter truly is the best medicine, even for writer’s block. Even if you’re not in the most cheerful mood, attempting even the smallest of giggles can engage the part of your brain responsible for making decisions, creating ideas and changing your mood.
3. Grab a Drink
When you’re at a literal lack for words, sipping something strong is known to boost brainpower. According to a recent study, participants who drank alcoholic beverages were more creative than those who didn’t imbibe. One or two drinks seems to be the sweet spot, though, since the real effects of alcohol start after that and our brain starts to slow down.
Believe it or not, getting in a daily sweat session may be just what the doctor ordered for a case of inconsistent creativity. Not only will getting fit help to activate your mind, exercising will also release a ton of endorphins guaranteed to give your mood a serious boost.
5. Break From the Norm
If your life is full of rigid routines, taking a break from your daily habits could bring you a much-needed mental wakeup call. Whether you choose to make a new recipe for dinner, take a different route home from work or try a new class at the gym, this change in your routine will help increase mental activity, paving the way for new ideas.
6. Take Time to Doodle
While you may be suffering from a creative dry spell, if your pen is full of ink, your ideas could be restored. According to the book “The Creativity Cure”, putting a pen to the paper – instead of fingers to a keyboard – can engage the brain and ignite a mental spark.
There’s nothing like new experiences to elevate your happiness and creativity. As you meet new people, try different food and take in sights you haven’t seen before, you will no doubt be filled with questions to ponder, new opinions and ideas. Don’t have the time or money to travel the world right now? Plan a weekend staycation, instead.
8. Hang Out With Friends, Especially the Sarcastic Ones
When facing a creative dry spell, spending time with snarky friends can pull you out of a mental rut. Whether it’s the wordplay or the dark humor, spending time with a sarcastic friend can give you a much-needed mental boost.
9. Play at Work
Nothing will make your day more enjoyable or pass more quickly than playing around at work. Surprisingly, getting off task sporadically throughout the day can give your mind a break, allowing it to wander and create new and innovative ideas.
10. Go Outside
There’s no place more inspirational than the great outdoors. Spending time in nature will engage all of the senses, promote positive energy and spark the imagination. As an added bonus, if you choose to work up a sweat outdoors, you will experience extra mood-boosting benefits.
While coming down with a case of writer’s block was nothing short of dreadful, the antidotes were both effective and enjoyable. I found that taking the time to relax with friends, spending time in nature and even just doodling were all underrated but powerful tools to increasing creativity and breaking out of a rut. I won’t dread the next time I temporarily lose my creativity, but will relish in the opportunity to relax, refresh and restore my imagination.
What has helped you feel happier or more productive at work this week? Leave a comment and spread happiness by helping others.