September 21, 2023

We hear loads of discuss creativity—however what is creativity, and why do we wish it? Although some individuals might dismiss creativity as one thing that issues solely artists, many features of on a regular basis life enable us to make use of our creativity.

What’s creativity?

Creativity is the flexibility to generate new, authentic concepts. It permits us to identify recent options to issues, suppose exterior the field, think about new prospects, and dream up new tales and new experiences to share.

Being artistic means residing in an environment of progress, which is without doubt one of the key parts of a cheerful life. We’re happier after we’re rising.

Individuals who train their creativity tend to be more productive, more energetic, more innovative—and creativity makes us happier.

In fact, artistic work might also result in emotions of frustration, insecurity, and discouragement! Being artistic typically means struggling to grasp new instruments, attempting and failing to realize an thought, and receiving criticism.

However the truth is, happiness doesn’t all the time make us really feel completely happy, and even when it’s not all the time straightforward, expressing our creativity is tremendously satisfying.

Why ought to we attempt to increase our creativity?

We would wish to increase our creativity higher to have the ability to create one thing of curiosity, corresponding to…

  • Writing a household vacation e-newsletter
  • Designing our bodily self-presentation: outfits, tattoos, hair, make-up
  • Selecting a fantasy-football workforce
  • Throwing a celebration
  • Dreaming up a brand new advertising and marketing technique
  • Discovering a brand new option to have interaction a scholar, consumer, or buyer who’s dropping curiosity

Or we would wish to increase our creativity higher to have the ability to clear up an issue in an modern manner, corresponding to…

  • Determining how one can set up all of the stuff that’s saved within the storage
  • Re-thinking how one can schedule workforce conferences when some persons are working remotely whereas others are bodily current
  • Planning the right household journey
  • Settling a disagreement between two co-workers in a manner that satisfies each of them
  • Recognizing an effectivity that saves time and cash

As a result of creativity is so beneficial, we wish to feed our creativity—however how?

If we’re in search of methods to spice up our creativity, right here’s one secret: Faucet in to our 5 senses.

Once I began work on my guide Life in 5 Senses, I hoped that by tuning in to my 5 senses, I’d discover a new supply of power, love, luck, mindfulness—and creativity.

However I used to be unprepared for simply how sparked my creativity would get! I discovered that after I paid better consideration to seeing, listening to, smelling, tasting, and touching, I ignited my creativeness and my need to create.

As Yoshida Kenkō wrote, “If we choose up a brush, we really feel like writing; if we maintain a musical instrument in our arms, we want to play.”

By making direct contact with the world, as an alternative of staying caught in our heads or behind a display screen, we increase our creativity. We attain the thoughts by way of the physique.

Why do vivid sensory experiences increase creativity?

  • They supply the mind with fodder for brand spanking new concepts and connections that spark the creativeness
  • They assist us feeling grounded within the current second, they usually additionally fire up previous recollections from the previous
  • They ignite sudden associations that contribute to recent considering
  • They increase our power and assist us to really feel refreshed, which then helps us to focus and work


How will we increase creativity by way of our 5 senses?

  • Through the use of participating instruments
  • By doing one thing novel, corresponding to occurring an journey to a brand new place
  • By having fun with a very intense sensory expertise
  • By intentionally evoking recollections


How would possibly we tie these methods to the 5 senses?

Happily, it’s straightforward to spice up our creativity by way of our 5 senses with out spending loads of time, power, or cash.

We’ve all heard the standard ideas: pay shut consideration to your breath; relish a single sip of espresso; discover the colours of the sky. These are useful—however a bit acquainted. Take into account these:


  1. Create the sight environment that fireplace your creativeness—I would like order, area and room to work, however different individuals favor a profusion of piles, toys, and instruments
  2. Use a coloration printer as an alternative of black and white
  3. Put a plant in your desk
  4. Go exterior, and as you stroll across the neighborhood, go searching with the eyes of a vacationer. The daylight itself will make it easier to really feel extra alert and targeted, and adopting the angle of a vacationer will make it easier to see abnormal sights in a brand new manner. Have a look at the bumper stickers on that automotive! Why is that canine carrying all these garments?
  5. Go to a film in the midst of the day
  6. Wander round a museum, guide retailer, division retailer, or huge drug retailer—pay shut consideration to stuff you normally overlook
  7. Sit someplace with loads of foot visitors, and pay shut consideration to the individuals as they stroll by—how do they act, how do they gown, how do they work together?
  8. Shut your eyes, select a room out of your childhood house, and attempt to visualize it with as a lot element as doable

Listening to

  1. Create the sound environment that fireplace your creativeness. Do you’re employed greatest with sounds of music, silence, or the busy hum of a espresso store?
  2. Hearken to a style of music you’ve by no means listened to earlier than
  3. Go to the Nostalgia Machine and take heed to a tune from the yr you graduated from highschool—what recollections does it evoke?
  4. Flip off your smartphone notifications so your focus isn’t damaged by pings


  1. Establish a odor that you simply affiliate with creativity and produce it into your surroundings. For me, the smells of an previous paperback guide, faculty paste, or a recent pack of printer paper make me really feel like writing.
  2. When you really feel caught, take a second and tune in to a powerful odor corresponding to espresso, peanut butter, or Sharpies, or perhaps a dangerous odor, like rubbish or a uncared for fridge—a powerful sensation will make it easier to really feel grounded in your physique
  3. Go to a spot with a powerful odor surroundings—a bakery, a restaurant, a bath-products store—and attempt to establish the totally different parts of the smells round you
  4. Take a deep sniff of one thing that holds robust recollections. The odor of recent asphalt jogs my memory of highschool (from a summer season job), the odor of Tea Rose fragrance jogs my memory of school, the odor of child powder jogs my memory of my husband. Sturdy recollections hearth up associations that spark creativity.


  1. Admire the style of a single almond, one olive, or one mouthful of apple. Actually discover the style, the feel, the mouthfeel
  2. Attempt a dish that you simply’ve by no means eaten earlier than; new experiences spark new associations
  3. Invent a brand new type of sandwich, pizza topping, or ice-cream taste
  4. Eat along with your non-dominant hand—the additional effort will make it easier to take note of the bodily expertise and likewise shake up your ideas
  5. Purchase your self a deal with that you simply all the time needed as a baby however had been hardly ever capable of have—I used to be hardly ever allowed to have mushy drinks
  6. Style one thing that holds robust recollections. For me, Weight loss plan Peach Snapple brings again floods of recollections from regulation faculty. These associations carry recent concepts.


  1. Placing fascinating instruments in our arms typically sparks our creativity—splurge on a device that can immediate you to play and experiment. I not too long ago bought a gimbal for my smartphone and have been instructing myself to make use of it. So many prospects!
  2. Put up a whiteboard so you possibly can sketch your concepts as an alternative of typing them. My sister Elizabeth Craft is a Hollywood show-runner, and he or she retains an eight-foot whiteboard in her house workplace
  3. Use a special fashion of notepad
  4. Use felt-tip pens in stunning colours as an alternative of the standard, boring black and blue
  5. Hold a fidget spinner, pop toy, remedy dough, or different contact device close by. Once you’re caught, exercise along with your arms might help focus and stimulate your thoughts.
  6. Go to an art-supply or office-supply retailer, craft retailer, ironmongery store, gardening middle, cooking retailer, farmers market—anyplace the place you’ll see plenty of supplies and tools. Don’t fear about utilizing something; simply wander
  7. Take a bathe
  8. In a glass jar, gather all of the little toys, gimcracks, and goofy trinkets you possibly can spherical up. Once you want inspiration, dump out the objects and put them again within the jar, one after the other

Additionally, keep in mind that every of us is totally different. Pay shut consideration to what sort of sensory experiences spark your creativity.

For my guide Life in 5 Senses, I made a decision to go to the Metropolitan Museum each day for a yr—and I nonetheless haven’t stopped. This day by day behavior is ideal for me. It’s each structured and unstructured; it’s predictable but all the time novel; it will get me up on my toes and strolling (strolling can be nice for creativity); it places me in an surroundings that’s vivid, intense, and sparks sudden associations.

The Met overwhelms my sense of sight, in fact, however it additionally stimulates my senses of listening to, smelling, and touching, and after I cease for a cup of espresso, my sense of tasting as nicely.

For me, visiting the Met boosts creativity. For another person, nonetheless, music is perhaps a richer supply of creativity. Studying to play a brand new instrument, playing around with a harmonica, listening to new music or feeling nostalgic from music from the previous…these workout routines don’t attraction to me, however others discover them enormously suggestive.