How to Stimulate the Creative Process

Scientists say we all have the potential for greatness if we learn to tap into our inner genius. Get your artistic juices flowing with these strategies.

You will need

  • Sleep
  • Exercise
  • Daydreams
  • Continuing education
  • Challenges
  • A notebook or PDA
  • Pen and paper (optional)

Step 1 Sleep on it. Over the years, researchers have found that the REM sleep cycle boosts our creativity and problem-solving abilities, providing us with innovative ideas or the answers to vexing dilemmas when we awaken.

Step 2 Go for a run or hit the gym. Studies indicate exercise stimulates creative thinking, and the brainpower boost lasts for a few hours.

Step 3 Allow your mind to wander a few times every day. Far from being a waste of time, daydreaming has been found to be an essential part of coming up with new ideas.

Step 4 Keep learning. Studying something far removed from your area of expertise is especially effective in helping you think in new ways.

Step 5 Put yourself in nerve-racking situations once in a while to fire up your brain. Fear and frustration trigger innovative thinking.

Step 6 Keep a notebook or PDA with you so you always have a way to record fleeting thoughts. They’re sometimes the best ideas of all.