Creativity Workout: High and Low Impact Exercises
Many kick start the New Year with a new physical exercise routine. But a creative mind can also get weak with neglect. A robust creative life takes just as much effort as a healthy sweat session. If you’re in need of novel practices to shake up your normal routine, here are a few low and high impact exercises to inspire more impromptu creative moments.
Practice yoga for the mind. Do for your mind what yoga does for your body and soul. Give it much-needed rest.
- Low impact - Devote time out of your day to sit in silence. A few minutes of pause is all it takes to recoil and unwind.
- High impact – Need something more? Attend a formal meditation retreat or book a stay at a hotel. Committed time away will motivate you to avoid technology and to-do lists.
Exercise your brain. Albert Einstein famously said, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results." We believe the more attention we give a problem, the better. However, obsessive focus doesn’t always lead to answers and creative insight. Surrender does.
- Low impact - Do a crossword puzzle. Play a video game on your phone. Read a book from a different genre. Doing something out of the ordinary or that requires your complete attention is akin to putting your problems on the back burner.
- High impact - Attend a murder mystery type of party or escape room, which are real-life games popping up around the country that require individuals to work together to "escape" the room their in.
Outdoor training. Historically, nature has inspired many songs, sonnet and stories. Sometimes all it takes is leaving home to open the door to possibilities.
- Low impact – Walk barefoot in your garden, take a trip to the park or watch a sunset. Nature provides the perfect breeding ground for creativity, and research supports it. A 2012 study in PLoS (Public Library of Science) One showed four days of being in nature without technology increased creative problem solving by fifty percent.
- High impact – Explore the outdoors with at least four of your five senses. When we listen, smell, touch and observe the environment, we reconnect to the boundless creativity that was available to us when we were children.
Stretch. We are all more creative than we give ourselves credit for. On a daily basis, however, we succumb to what's easy and safe. But creativity takes courage. Test your current limits by stretching yourself.
- Low impact - Experiment something new whether it is a new recipe, restaurant or hiking spot.
- High impact - Explore your creativity with an improv class, attend an open mic performance, join a new club, or anything else that excites and scares you just a little.
Work with a trainer. On the way to greater creative health, we sometimes need the aid of another.
- Low impact – Look for a meetup, online mastermind group or ask a friend to be your guide to living more creatively. Hearing other people’s perspectives and ideas, as well as being held accountable, can inspire creative moments. Connection alone can foster creativity.
- High impact – Personal trainers help shape their client’s physique. Similarly, a creative coach can teach the necessary tools plus provide support to strengthen and unblock your creativity.
To live a creative life, we need to give the same attention, effort and devotion we give to whittle our waistline. Strengthening your muscle takes work, but the energy put forth will be rewarded in the gift of immeasurable creativity.