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Ways to Boost Creativity & Reduce Stress

Ways to Boost Creativity & Reduce Stress

by Tarah Rocha
Rainbow Yoga General Manager & Global Teacher Trainer

 

It’s easy to hit creative roadblocks when you feel stuck. It usually comes at a time when I’m distracted or feeling disconnected. This can lead to getting stuck in the creative process and feeling stressed. 

By practicing yoga and doing what you love, you build more awareness about your own creativity. Doing more of what you love leads to more focus and productivity. Yoga is a great tool to help the mind focus, stay calm, reduce stress levels and move in the right direction. 


Taking a break, loosening up and playing can help to stimulate creativity. I like to consciously shift my environment and make changes to my thought patterns to overcome creative blocks and stress levels. I draw on my natural surroundings, the practices that make me feel good and ways I like to move my body. This always seems to help boost creativity and calm my nervous system. 

There are so many great ways to develop your creative muscle. Here are some ways to boost your creativity and simultaneously reduce stress: 

Go to bed early, set your alarm to wake up before sunrise. Walk to your favourite place in nature. Take your notebook with you and write about your experience watching the sun come up that morning, in this beautiful place. How do you feel? What did you experience during this sunrise? If you can make a habit out of this practice you have a new mood booster and creative start to your day. 

Photo by Holly McLean @holly_mclean_


Everyday is a new opportunity to create. The morning is a great time to start your day with yoga and mindfulness. Yoga can help with reducing stress levels and keeping your mind fresh. A morning yoga practice can help with focus and is such a great tool for tapping into your creativity. Make your practice space creative. Gather some of your favourite things, your favourite pillows, musical instruments, anything that inspires you and have these items around you when you practice. After your practice, spend 5 to 10 minutes writing down any creative ideas that come up. If you have someone to practice with, connect with them and create yoga together. Rainbow Yoga is all about connection and you can make your practice for two or make it a fun family yoga practice for everyone. Maybe you even create a sunrise yoga practice on one of your early morning adventures to your favourite nature spot.


This one is simple. Take your notebook and describe what creativity is to you in 7 words. Make the way you write these words down on paper look creative too. Play with the size, write down the side of your page, write upside down. Write in different colours. 

Image source: Pexels.com


Take a look outside your window right now. What do you see? Write this down in your notebook. Describe exactly what you can see, any colours, shapes, patterns, objects, the light. Look for things you haven’t noticed before and write about them too. 

Photo by Isabella Panzeri @orizzontilakecomo



Go for a walk and take photos of your favourite things around your neighbourhood, city or house. What is it that makes you smile? What brings you feelings of happiness? Later look through the images, pick your favourite ones and write about these in your journal or notebook. You may be surprised at what you can capture with your creativity. 

Image source: Pexels.com


Start writing a letter to yourself, ask for some help with your creative project or task. Start the letter like this: 

Dear imagination, 

Today I’m struggling with… 

Once you have completed your letter, write yourself a reply. Make this encouraging and full of imagination!

Photo by Holly McLean @holly_mclean_

Allow yourself to make a list of 10 so called ‘bad ideas’. Sometimes I feel stuck because I put too much pressure on myself, I want to please everyone and I’m a bit of a perfectionist. When I get stuck in this negative thought process I won’t settle for anything less than perfect. But what if the ideas I have aren’t that bad after all? Sometimes it’s nice to see all your ideas on paper before coming to any conclusions. Forget about all of that for a moment and make a list of 10 ‘bad ideas’. Come back to these ideas after taking a walk in nature, doing yoga and flipping your perspective. Maybe you can transform these into something great or see them in a new light with a fresh perspective and open mind. 

Photo by Holly McLean @holly_mclean_


Close your eyes and visualise the next 3 places you would love to visit or travel to. Write down the three destinations. Go for a walk around your garden, plants or in nature and collect flowers, leaves and sticks. Use these materials to create an eco friendly collage of one of the places on your top 3 destinations to visit next list. See what you come up with. Get creative with layers, colours and textures on your collage. Try to only use the materials you pick up or already have at home. 

Image source: Pexels.com


Take your notebook or a piece of paper and experiment with your writing style. Change the size of the letters and switch between upper and lower case in each sentence. Write slowly to practice and develop your individual writing style. Use a pen or pencil and paper to get your creative juices flowing again, rather than typing this onto a device. 

Image source: Pexels.com


Sometimes the mind wanders and creativity stops flowing. Especially when you are stuck on one task for too long or when you are multitasking too often. There’s a useful time management system I like to use called the Pomodoro Technique. This technique encourages you to work with the time you have, rather than against it. It breaks up a project or work day into 25 minute chunks of time, separated by 5 minute breaks. The intervals are called pomodoros. After 4 pomodoros you can take a longer break of 10-15 minutes. This allows you to focus in time blocks, get creative and productive with your time. There are lots of great apps you can download to your phone or device, to try this for yourself. 

Always being plugged in can be stressful and stop you from being creative. We are constantly plugged into our phones, social media, emails, screens and devices. Try closing them before you take this time for yourself and your creative projects. If you find yourself aimlessly scrolling or surfing the internet to avoid the project you are working on, this may be a sign you are stuck.  

Try closing all the tabs, windows and screens you don’t need open. Remove the distractions and see how this feels for you. Focus on one thing at a time.  

Give yourself time to complete a single creative project. Maybe one of the techniques here will work for you. Imagine having completed this project successfully. How satisfying does that feel? Move towards your goals feeling energised and focused. 

by Tarah Rocha
Rainbow Yoga General Manager & Global Teacher Trainer


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