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Finding Creativity When You Least Feel Like It

Written by Terry Nguyen


In a creative rut?  Hey, it happens. You know well that you need to be creative -  not only for professional growth, but for personal and emotional growth. Finding creativity, however, is not an easy task.There are conditions, both internal and external, that help creativity blossom. Start with a look inside. 


How can I find that creative feeling?


It can get frustrating, seeing coworkers or  friends indulge in their creative musings while you are stuck within your humdrum existence. Searching for those tiny spurts of inspiration, such as the desire to draw, paint or engage in your favorite pasttime musical activity, is important. We all have to eat, go to work and do household chores, but why does no one hold us accountable to being creative?  Here are some strategies to bring out your creative self. 

Lacking creativity? Try walking


According to a Stanford study in 2014, walking improves creativity. One's creative output increased by an average of 60% after walking, and throughout history, many great creative minds like Steve Jobs and Mozart, have attributed part of their creative bursts to long walks. 


In a society dominated by efficient transportation, many of us have neglected taking walks and instead, have taken to lounging on our couches. But, you don't necessarily have to leave your house to ensure that you gain the same creative results by walking: The Stanford researchers realized that the act of walking, not the environment, produced the positive response among active individuals. 


Marily Oppezzo, a Stanford doctoral graduate, stated that as she received strong results even when walking on a treadmill inside a room. Many creative individuals, such as Ariana Huffington (creator of the Huffington Post), Yoshikadu Hamada (a Japanese manga artist) and even Jimmy Kimmel, have installed a treadmill desk inside their workspace to drastically improve their sedentary lifestyle while finding a creative boost in their work ethic. (In case you were wondering where you could find such treadmill desks, look no further than the Walk-1 desk!)

Ever feel like you were jumbled in your own thoughts? Write them down in a journal

In addition to walking, journaling is another activity many have praised in helping find their inner creativity. Freelancers, young creatives and even educational institutions have attributed journaling, or writing one's thoughts down on paper, to boosting creativity. 


By writing down your thoughts, you free your mind of any excessive thoughts that might be clouding up your brain space. The bullet journal phenomenon, for example, has become extremely popular in recent years, as it allows individuals to personalize their agendas while providing a space to write down extra thoughts. When you journal, thoughts that often don't make it out of your brain have an outlet for release, and you might be able to find inspiration within even your simplest daily musings. 

Engage in others' creative content

Austin Kleon, the author of Steal Like An Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative, stems the basis of his argument on creativity as an imitation of another individual's work. But, Kleon claims, it goes beyond copying. He calls it stealing like an artist.


In order to get your creative juices flowing, you need to immerse yourself into other artists' content. Whether it be a creative business project, painting or poem, gauge other individuals' works and observe their creative style. Chances are, you will be inspired to create something of your own after observing creative content.