It is a highly idealized and elusive quality. It often comes in bursts and fits. Making time to be more creative can have powerful health benefits and improve our mental well-being. The ability to be creative is linked with improved leadership, productivity, and problem-solving, which can enhance teamwork and employee happiness in the workplace. Most of us don’t know how to tap into our creative side, or we think that creativity is a rare gift. Recent research has revealed that it can be deliberately harnessed by using an open-monitoring meditation type.
Most of us have heard about meditation techniques that involve focused attention, where the mind focuses on one object. The benefits of focused-attention meditation, such as reduced stress and anxiety and improved attention span, can benefit creative endeavors. However, science has shown that open-monitoring meditation techniques are better at promoting divergent thought. Divergent thinking, or the ability to devise many solutions for one problem, is closely related to creativity. Getting the mind out of a rut and producing creative ideas and solutions is essential.
There are two types of open monitoring meditation: one is internal, the other external. Internal open-monitoring meditations concentrate on emotions, thoughts, memories, and visualizations. External meditations are centered around sounds, smells, and colors in the immediate environment.
Internal and external monitoring meditations require you to be quiet and pay attention to the thoughts going through your mind. It is important to be aware of our mental processes and recognize the types and qualities our thoughts take on and how they affect our emotions and body. This will help us to open up to divergent thoughts and increase our creativity. Open monitoring meditation requires you to be completely present and follow your mind’s path without judging or reacting.
Open monitoring meditations include Mindfulness, Vipassana, Insight, Body Scan, and Loving-Kindness meditation. However, many practices combine both focused attention with open monitoring. You can also change a focused-attention meditation to give it a more open monitoring flavor. You could, for example, modify a second chakra meditation (Svadhisthana) to explore sensations and visuals of the water element in the lower abdomen or low back. You can also modify the mantra to concentrate on vibrations, other body sensations, and the chanting of the mantra.
Open monitoring meditations are shown to be the most effective in evoking a creative state but don’t forget to practice focused attention mediation as well. The focus of focused attention meditation is to strengthen and stabilize your discipline, attention, and focus. This will help you achieve greater success in open monitoring meditations. Focused attention is also important for completing creative work efficiently and effectively.
Take your time when you start to meditate for creativity. Find a meditation practice you enjoy and can maintain comfortably for 20 minutes. To get the best results, you should practice meditation before doing creative work, brainstorming, or any other activity requiring problem-solving. You can take a short meditation break if you feel stuck or blocked during your creative process. Keep a journal if you are experimenting with different meditation techniques to see which ones elicit the best mental and emotional states that will allow you to engage in creative work.
According to research, prior meditation does not significantly impact the ability to think divergently. So, if you’re interested in meditation to boost creativity, now is a great time to begin! The more we use our creativity, the more it becomes familiar and easier to access.