mindfulness · motivation

Exercise & Creativity

Tomorrow, April 21, is the UN’s World Creativity and Innovation Day – a celebration of the role that creativity plays in problem solving.

Creativity is beneficial for its own sake, of course. Not only is creativity enjoyable, but the mindfulness and presence required helps us to relax and to focus. It feels good to get in a creative ‘zone.’

And since the abilities that we hone in creative practice are helpful for solving problems, our creativity is also good for the world.

A photo of a tree and a path in the foreground and a vista of water, hills and trees in the background. Overlaid text reads 'We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.  - Albert Einstein'
I quote this at least once a week to someone. It’s an excellent argument practicing creative thinking. Image description: A photo of a tree and a path in the foreground and a panoramic of water, hills and trees in the background. Overlaid text reads ‘We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them. – Albert Einstein’

Since exercise can improve our concentration immediately after a workout and it increase our capacity for creative thinking, exercising can directly contribute to your ability to think creatively and solve problems.

And now that you know that Wednesday is World Creativity and Innovation Day, you can also think of your workout tomorrow as a warm-up for any creativity activity or problem solving you have to do. (And, as Sam reminds us, warm-ups are very important.)

Lots of people swear that going for a walk helps them to be more creative and think of new solutions to the challenges that they face.

But, if walking isn’t your thing, any sort of moderate exercise seems to help so choosing your favourite exercise can help you prepare to be part of creative problem solving tomorrow.

Adriene even has a practice that may help you:

Have you found a connection between your exercise plan and your creativity and problem solving abilities?

Tell us about it in the comments!

PS – If you ALREADY have a creative practice in place, here are a few stretching programs I found that can help keep you feeling good physically while you think creatively.

Here’s a Dr. Jo video showing some hand, wrist, neck & shoulder exercises for artists.
And here’s a video showing some specific hand exercises for artists and animators.
And this is one of my favourite Yoga with Adriene videos – Yoga for Writers

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