If you want to “test” the concept that activating creativity can make great change in your life, start with a small experiment. Commit to setting aside 10 to 15 minutes a day for one week. Every day, do at least one of these things:

  • Write a page or two in a notebook before you get out of bed in the morning. Just jot whatever comes to mind and see what happens.
  • Buy a small travel pack of oil pastels (you can get a set of 12 for under $4), and use them to scribble or draw anything you feel like in a small sketchbook (5.5" x 8.5" is a great size). This is a terrific thing to do if you’re feeling angry or frustrated, but it also works if your excited or elated. Fill an entire page with color that reflects your emotion!
  • Crank up the volume of a great rock anthem and move! Just let your body go and see how it feels. (Talking Heads, Rolling Stones and many others are excellent choices. My current favorite is Celine Dion’s Unfinished Songs.)
  • Make a list of 12 things you’re grateful for. Try this several days in a row and see what starts to emerge.
  • Go someplace and deliberately get lost. See what you discover. Surprise yourself.
  • Take a short break, a few minutes to walk around the block, look at the sky, or sit and people-watch. No agenda. Just turn your brain off and take in what’s around you.
  • Write a silly poem, or create one around a serious emotion. Play with words.

In our busy lives, it may seem like a hard thing to devote even a little time, for one week, to small creative activities that allow the brain some space to be free. I hope you will try it and see what happens.

If you like what you experience, you can pick the things that most please you, and do more of them. Or, extend the “test” by trying some of the ideas you skipped and see how those work for a few more days. If good things start to happen, consider finding a “creative buddy” to help you keep the practice going.

Check out some specific exercises that will make it easy to get started.

Creativity can solve almost any problem. The creative act, the defeat of habit by originality, overcomes everything.
— George Lois