There are a lot of specific techniques for more creative thinking. You can combine concepts, tear ideas apart to find new ones, and do group brainstorming sessions. Those all work, but to have a naturally more creative mind you might also want to try meditation.
Because meditation can clear your mind of some of the usual negative thoughts, it can open the way for more creative thinking. A mind that no longer indulges in so many thoughts like, “That’s stupid,” or “That would never work,” or “I can’t do that,” is a a mind that is more open to new possibilities.
By the way, this is why no criticism is allowed in brainstorming sessions until after all the ideas have been thrown out there and worked with. Who would want to present crazy new ideas if they were being called ridiculous or otherwise shot down every time? What people can do to each other during a brainstorming session, we can easily do to ourselves with our own thoughts.
There are other benefits that have been proven to come from regular meditation, some of which are conducive to better thinking in general. For example, meditating actually lowers stress and anxiety levels by lowering cortisol and lactate levels, which means less of the foggy thinking and actual brain damage that these can cause. It has been shown to reduce irritability and moodiness, making better concentration possible when you are engaged in creative thinking or any mental tasks.
Here are some of the other things meditation can do for you that might indirectly help you be more naturally creative:
– It lowers blood pressure, thereby reducing damage to vessels in the brain.
– It raises blood oxygen levels. It’s a short and/or long-term effect depending on the consistency of your practice, but either way, more oxygen almost certainly helps the brain.
– It give you new perspectives. Some meditative practices lead you to deeper insights and transformative ways of seeing yourself and others and the things around you.
To use meditation more directly as a creative thinking exercise, write down a problem or two that you want a solution for. Then meditate until your mind has quieted down quite a bit. Afterwards, immediately look at your list and start jotting down any ideas that come to mind. If you know a few creative problem solving techniques this will be even more effective, but the point is to get busy before your mind slips back into its normal thinking patterns (which constitute the famous “box” you just got your thinking out of).
Never meditated? It can be as simple as closing your eyes and paying attention to your breath for a few minutes. Why not try meditation for more creative thinking today?