How to train your brain to get into flow
Sometimes a small change is all you need to unblock your creative flow.
You never know when ideas will come to you. Maybe it's in a dream and you wore to recall the details as you hit your alarm. Most of my best ideas happen during my morning routine: brushing my teeth, washing my face, eating breakfast.
When your brain goes on autopilot, your creativity has room to play.
You can think of it as a right-brain/left-brain dynamic. Or conscious/subconscious.
Either way, your creativity does not like to share the spotlight with your logical/practical thinking.
It likes to be the star attraction. And the more you nurture this, the more you'll be rewarded with creative flow.
The easiest way to get your creative juices flowing is by doing something you can do without thinking: fold laundry, go for a walk, make a meal you know by heart.
The key is to get yourself on autopilot. Don't distract with music, podcasts, TV, or conversation. These will stimulate your conscious mind, taking in new information.
Your creative brain doesn't like being crowded this way. It can't bring new ideas to life if it's competing with new information coming from the outside.
Sure it might absorb this new information and store it for later. But if you're hoping to allow a
new idea to brace, give your creativity what it wants: an empty stage to play.
I've workshopped countless video scripts while walking the dog. I wrote the first draft of my signature speech while making my favourite dinner.
The next time you go out for a walk, leave the ear buds at home. Tell yourself, "I wonder what new ideas will appear on this walk!" Then leave yourself open to what shows up.
It might be a video series for your followers. It might be the solution to a problem you've been dealing with. It might also be the name of that actor in that movie you watched the
In the beginning it might be small things. Your brain, especially your creative brain, is like a muscle. If you haven't been using it this way, it won't be at full strength the first time.
Make it a habit.. Take some time to turn off the distractions (even wave sounds) and simply sit with your ideas.
Left brain/right brain
In my coaching certification, I studied more of the conscious/subconscious mind than I did left/right brain. I'm not an expert, but I do want to share a creative exercise I discovered recently that is quickly becoming a regular routine.
I learned it from another creative mindset coach named Kristi Strangeland. She was giving
a lecture on how to tap into creativity, especially if you've let it go dormant.
I've been very fortunate to build a creative career I love. But it's been years since I've made time for creative play. I used to fill my spare time with crafts - embroidery, crochet, knitting.
Then I discovered mobile games. Even though I feel this creative absence, something is keeping me from pulling my art supplies at a storage to just play for a day.
Kristi had us take part in a bilateral discussion with ourselves. Using your right hand, you write out a question (regardless of what your dominant hand is). Then, you switch to your left hand to answer.
The questions she gave were:
"What is keeping you from creating?"
"What wants to be created?"
From there you engage in a back and forth discuss in asking questions with your right hand and answering with the left.
The experience was eye-opening. As I held the pen with my right hand, I started to formulate the answers in my mind: practical, analytical. Seeking answers and blame.
But as soon as I held the pen in my left hand and started to write, the answer changed.
My right hand wanted to issue punishment for ignoring my creativity. It wanted me to feel bad for seeking escape after a long day at creating for money.
My left hand was more forgiving.
It reminded me these distractions are seductive. They're designed to be used for hours at a time. Of course I'm drawn to them.
But I always have a choice.
The left hand part of the exercise showed me compassion. And reminded me creativity can come in the form of being inspired. From knocking something off my home "to do" list. I can follow a paint by numbers kit and get the same satisfaction working with a blank canvas.
It's all in how I prefer to spend my time.
The next time you feel stuck or as if you have no time to create, try this exercise. Explore what blocks you're creating and use both sides of your brain to show how to clear the path to creativity.