How do you boost creativity in just a few minutes? In the business world a creative mindset is an often sought-after characteristic. As a leader the ability to think outside the box is a necessity.

But creative thinking is not always that simple. Some people fight hard to spark their imagination and innovative thinking. Many managers and leaders even seem to be paralyzed when prompt action is required — and a creative momentum must be created here and now!

Surely the best creative result are created over time — with time to think. And we always recommend that you set time aside for thinking through your project. But what if you have to think out of the box — right now? Well, we’ve created 7 quick tips on how to boost your creativity!

Boost your creativity

Creativity has always been a natural and obvious part of my life. Since birth I’ve been very visual and creative in my ideas and in my approach to the world — and to my work. At the same time, creativity is a natural part of my daily flow and my work with illustration, stories and animation. But creativity is not just for creative people. Part of the creative mindset can be boosted. Let’s take a look at how to do it.

1. Take a shower!

I’m not kidding you! It is a scientifically proven fact that you can boost your cognitive brain capacity (and thus your creativity) by taking a steam bath or going to the sauna. Not only that. Your brain also becomes healthier with all the hot air. Studies show that repeated use of steam baths and sauna reduces the risk of cognitive dementia by 66 percent. So now you have a good excuse to stay a little longer under the hot spray in the morning!

2. Take a hike — boost your creativity by more than 80 percent

Yes, it sounds almost too good to be true. We all know that a walk is beneficial for your health. But it is also great for your brain. In fact, studies show that you can boost your creativity by 80 percent -100 percent by going for a walk. That is why walking meetings are also gaining ground in the most visionary companies. Get out your good walking shoes – and bring your iPhone so you can record notes.

3. Power poses — imagine you’re a superhero

Perhaps you’ve heard about powerposes before? If not, it’s about time. Because with power poses we are not only able to perform better. It also brings peace to the body — thus reducing stress and releasing cognitive capacity.

A power pose is a kind of hero’s pose. Think of superman — with his hands akimbo. Then you have it! Power poses releases the hormone testosterone in your body while lowering the cortisol level (the hormone that causes stress). This means that people who use power poses reduce their stress levels and at the same time they become more self confident. All this boosts your creativity on the spot. Remember, you must keep your pose for at least two minutes before the effect kicks in.

Power poses is about making your body’s frame as big as possible. This can often seem a bit intimidating to do — especially for women. But it really works, so hang in there.

4. Powernap — sleep on it

It may sound good to be true, but powernapping is an effective way to boost your creativity. Both Albert Einstein (physicist), Salvador Dali (painter) and Beethoven (composer) were known to use powernapping to find the good ideas and think new and innovative.

In fact, some of the largest and innovative companies have seen the light in powernapping. Giants like Zappos, Google and Nike encourage their employees to take a nap at work.

The perfect powernap occurs in the period between 13 PM and 15 PM – and should last between 15-20 minutes. Just enough time to almost fall asleep.

5. Think in other languages

Using other languages can also help creativity on its way. Because the different languages have different images. Therefore, it may often help to search your inner library for linguistic expressions in other languages. At the same time, it may be beneficial to use synonym dictionaries (such as thesaurus).

6. Tweak your own story

When you need to be creative right now and here, it’s important to have self confidence. A quick fix to that can be to change your self-image. You must believe that you are able to think innovative thoughts — right here and now. And both mantras and visualizations can be effective tools.

Visualizations are effective in getting new ideas and seeing the world in a new light. Visualization means creating mental images — or creating physical images (eg. drawing). You can either think up images or grab a pencil and draw them in real life. The fact is that images can spark your imagination and your mindset.

Related: How visualization works – see your success for you!

7. Change your location

If you find it hard to think out of the box, or hard to find peace of mind to think new thoughts, it may be a great help to change your location. If you change your location, you’re tricking your brain to thinking beyond the norms. And it automatically boosts your cognitive capacity.

I can recommend finding a place that gives you energy. It can be as simple as putting yourself at a different table than where you’re normally seated at the office. It may also be to seek out those people who give you energy and make you laugh.

No fear of failure

Most importantly, when you try to think creative thoughts — drop all fear of failing — or the fear of seeming crazy or alternative. Creativity and fear don’t go well together. Because fear inhibits your cognitive ability — and your cognitive capacity is essential for innovative thinking!

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