How to be creative

This month Imogen Bond, founder of Bumblebee Books, shares more inspiration for sparking creativity.

I often have my best ideas in the shower. Just as I’ve got the shampoo lathered up, a great new thought or the solution to something I’m worrying about, will just ping into my head. It may be inconvenient that I can’t reach for a pencil – but there is actual science behind why this happens. 

Research suggests we have around 6,000 thoughts a day. Tasks that don’t need lots of active thought produce alpha waves, which relax the brain and reduce stress levels, allowing your brain to make unexpected connections and to solve problems – seemingly as if by magic. 

If creativity is finding new connections, our brains are brilliant at it when they are at their most relaxed. 

Creative activities such as drawing, knitting, and journaling, can also put our brains into this state of waking relaxation. The burst of problem-solving creativity that alpha waves prompt, as well as the serotonin produced that decreases anxiety, means that a kind of creativity loop is activated.

So next time you’re worrying about something why not put this theory to the test? Go for a ‘magpie’ walk: take a jam jar and find things to fill it with…a fallen feather, a beautiful leaf or flower, an interesting stone – anything that catches your eye. 

Noticing things as you walk stops you focusing on your worry, giving your brain a chance to relax. 

At home, turn your objects into art. Just 15 minutes of this will help boost those alpha waves. Lay out your finds in different ways: consider how the colours and shapes work together; photograph or draw them; take rubbings of interesting textures; give titles to your works of art. 

You may not be winning a Turner Prize anytime soon, but I bet you feel better about that pesky problem. 

If you like this, take a look at Bumblebee, the book subscription that inspires your creativity – and receive a new book and cool, creative prompts every month!

Imogen Bond

Facebook @booksbumblebee | Instagram @bumblebeebooksonline

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