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An artistic approach to reduce stress and increase positive emotions.

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Remember how exciting art class was when we were kids? As adults no one is making us go to art class anymore, however, exercising our mind’s creative muscle creates improvement in our mental health, therefore improving our general quality of life.

This doesn’t mean you have to be Picasso or go invest in some “art equipment.” You can keep it low key without much planning or money to start practicing creativity regularly.

Simple ways to rewire your brain for creativity:

1. Practice mindfulness: This might mean you try meditation or simply just observe the world much more closely than you already do. Notice the solidness of the ground you walk on and the endlessness of the starts above us. Become highly aware of your surroundings and your mind and soul can’t help but to be inspired.
2. Do a “mind dump” exercise: maybe you have an invention you’ve been pondering or you’re thinking about your next family vacation. Brainstorm without restraint — no ideas are bad ideas here. Write them all down.
3. Change your environment: maybe you choose to buy some plants or new decor for a room that needs some love in your home. Maybe you take a weekend getaway to see the fall colors in the mountains. The monotony of seeing the same things everyday will shutdown our creative flow.
4. Set aside time to daydream: put it on your list as a to-do. As much as meditation is great, it’s important to have time to let our minds run as it wished. Giving ourselves permission to daydream will take away the “you shouldn’t be wasting time” pressure and you will be rewarded by allowing your mind to have its own recess.
5. Practice creating: music, writing, photography, painting, drawing, and so on. Don’t limit yourself to the methods you know well. There is no judgement of your skill level as it’s simply an exercise. You may be surprised at what you can do!
6. Collect a portfolio of inspirations: whether it’s on Pinterest or you choose to make a physical collage from your favorite magazines, collect the things that truly make you tick. Put them in a “saved” folder or in journal that you can refer to often. Look at these inspirations daily and let those creative juices flow!

Remember to keep it simple and it's always helpful to schedule creative time on your calendar. Even if you do just one of these tasks once a week, you will be amazed at how different you will feel. We often do not do these kinds of fun activities because we feel we don't have time for them. It's important to remember that allowing ourselves time to be creative will positively effect all areas of our life and therefore increase productivity when we return to work!