4 Morning Rituals To Boost Your Creativity
Studies show that the human brain is the most receptive to creative thought during the early waking hours. Here are 4 morning rituals that we live by to keep the creative juices flowing throughout the rest of the day.
The benefits of journaling is no new concept. Often times, however, journaling gets relegated to the quiet evening hours, or when you have ample time to spare.
Enter: micro-journaling. From implementing Julia Cameron's Morning Pages to simply jotting down what you’re grateful for, putting pen to paper first thing in the morning stimulates mind-body coordination while allowing you to access your emotions uninhibited by any cognitive judgement or self-editing. Simply take ten minutes each morning right when you wake up to write three stream of consciousness pages. No need to reread, proof, or edit – just let it flow.
2. Get Moving
According to neuroscientist Wendy Suzuki, exercise can stimulate the hippocampus, also known as our “imagination powerhouse.” Not to mention, it triggers blood circulation and spatial awareness in a short amount of time, priming our bodies for creative thought throughout the rest of the day.
Try doing some light stretching, yoga or better yet, going for a run outside. Stepping out into the elements first thing in the morning allows your brain to clearly delineate between “sleep” and “wakefulness”. Don’t overextend yourself, but keep pushing at 60-70% of your physical capacity so your brain stays engaged with the task at hand.
3. Take A Hot Shower
Ever wonder why we have our best ideas in the shower? Showers – along with other menial but relaxing activities like exercising and driving home from work – triggers dopamine, a hormone linked with creativity, and invites subconscious thoughts to surface in the mind.
While bringing a notebook with you into the shower may not be practical, treat your shower room like an incubator of ideas. Carve out ample time so you’re not rushing or panicking about making it to work on time. Who knows – you may encounter a breakthrough solution to that IT glitch you’ve been trying to figure out for days.
4. Read Fiction
How do you take your coffee? Take it with fiction. A recent study conducted by the University of Toronto concluded that avid readers of fiction feel less inclined to seek “cognitive closure,” or the "human desire to eliminate ambiguity and arrive at definite conclusions." In other words, people who read fiction embrace uncertainty, and are able to appreciate the subtle nuances in between.
While your first instinct may be to reach for your favorite podcast or the news in the morning, try flipping through a few pages of fiction with your morning coffee instead. Starting the day with a healthy appreciation for nuance can do wonders for your creativity.