Mindfulness meditation is increasingly taking the creative world by storm. In fact, many huge businesses and corporations, like Google, Medtronic, and Goldman Sachs, have introduced meditation and mindfulness into their employee wellness programs. Primarily, these programs will be designed to alleviate stress within the work environment. However, it’s becoming increasingly obvious that meditation can greatly enhance our own creativity. This post will explain how meditation boosts creativity.
The Brain and Creativity
Your brain is a whole. Though many argue in western medicine that we have left and right brains, this is not the case in meditation. Indeed, most of us know that the right brain is analytical and logical, whereas the left brain is more imaginative and creative. However, in meditation, there is just one mind. According to Headspace, the creativity we seek won’t be found by simply tapping into our left brain. Instead, it’s about becoming more aware of the creativity within our brain. Our brain is whole and connected by 200 million nerve fibers. It’s why we now use creativity to aid our analytical thinking, and analytics to aid the creative flow. When we can tap into both parts, simultaneously, we are powerful.
How Does Meditation Aid Creativity
As said, the relationship between meditation and creativity is powerful. We can tap into it by calming our minds and focusing our thoughts internally, into ourselves. Often, we have thousands of thoughts flying through our heads in one given day. Well, meditation calms these thoughts and sets the intention of finding that creative space. Once tapped into it, the creativity we possess can thrive.
Mindfulness and Meditation for Creativity
Dr. Danny Penman wrote Mindfulness for Creativity, which explores the relationship between meditation and creative flow. He argues that the practice of mindfulness meditation in particular enhances three essential skills that are necessary for creative problem-solving. They are as follows:
- Mindfulness causes your mind to be open to new ideas.
- Mindfulness improves attention.
- Mindfulness encourages resilience in the face of setbacks and negative thoughts.
These three skills are essential because they are inextricably linked to the creative workflow process.
How to Meditate to Aid Creativity
We’ve listed mindfulness meditation as a way to aid creative flow. You can do this by:
- Sitting in a comfortable position, in a relaxing environment.
- Pay attention to what your body is doing - how are you sitting? How does your body feel?
- Relax and simply be present in the moment.
- Focus on your breathing. Try to remain in the present moment as you listen, feel, and pay attention to your breathwork.
- When you’re ready, end the meditation. It’s simple, yet effective.
There are other meditation techniques that you can try out to aid your creative process. The following three techniques are used in this Headspace blog. They are:
- Open monitoring, where you observe and notice everything around you in the present moment
- Focused attention, where you concentrate on one object and ignore other distractions.
- Creative visualization guided meditation, where you allow a creative spark to ignite within your body and come out into your present moment.
So it seems that meditation can definitely aid creativity and creative flow. While western medicine and psychological practices determine that we have two distinct sides of our brains, meditation unites them as one whole, which is a powerful concept. Through differing meditation types, you can bring the creative side through, and use it to your advantage: on its own, or in unison with the more analytical side.