Why Chilling & Reflecting Will Make You More Creative

We live in a go, go, go society. As in, there’s this whole idea that we have to go, go, go all the time because if you stop to even take a breath you might fall behind on work, on finding the perfect mate, on being the best daughter, on projects, on applications…on life.

But what if you knew that stopping to take a breath…and better yet, taking some serious time to chill out, actually boosted your creativity? And not just your artistic creativity, but your creativity as you apply it to every aspect of your life?

If you knew this was true, would you take more time to pause, reflect, and chill?

Here’s some evidence to back up our claim. We hope it convinces you to slow down and recharge when you need it.

  • Research shows people are more creative when they enjoy freedom from interruption (according to Susan Cain, author of the new book, Quiet). Even Pablo Picasso saw the need for quiet time: “Without great solitude, no serious work is possible,” Picasso said.
  • Ever go to sleep thinking about a problem and wake in the morning with your solution? Shutting off our thinking brain (like when we sleep) allows the subconscious to take over and get creative. (It works for naps, too!). New research shows that REM sleep helps with creative problem solving by allowing the brain to make new and useful associations between unrelated ideas.
  • Taking a break from everything on your Have To Do list and replacing it with things your Want To Do list will reduce your stress and bring more happiness into your life – two things that inherently boost your creative thinking.
  • Inspiration can come from just about anything – nature, movies, books, real life – but in order for the inspiration to come in and spark your creativity, you have to slow down enough to look around and notice. If you’re moving too fast to observe the world around you, you’ll miss out.
  • Our brains need rest to function at their best. Overstudying and overworking reduces our brain’s ability to think quick and generate creative ideas.

Convinced yet? What have you found works to boost your own creativity?