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Creativity Killers and Creativity Stimulators


Creativity Killers and Creativity Stimulators


So what stimulates creativity and what kills it?  Well, I don't pretend to have all the answers to that and as a matter of fact, lets just say I'm on an exploration trying to figure it out.  I still find it a challenge at times to pull out that creativity.
I seem to be more in tune with what the creativity killers are in my life.

I've discovered that feeling overwhelmed is one of the biggest creativity, in fact, brain activity killers, in my life.


  • Having too much on my mental to-do list,
  • multiple things/people demanding my attention within a short period of time,
  • constant interruptions when I need to concentrate,
  •  feeling sick or overtired,
  • low blood sugar or fluctuations in blood sugar
  • disorganized space (unless I can get into the headspace where I'm so focused I can ignore my surroundings)
  • mental fatigue.

Looking at my above list, I have to brainstorm, "How can I combat these creativity drains?", so here I go to work thinking about what to do about them.  I'm looking at my mental to-do list and I think, "I need to sit down and write out a list of my to-do's so that I don't stress over forgetting something important. Then I need to prioritize what's most important and what I can let go of and of course, if there is the option to do so, what can I delegate? I might need to scratch in some phone numbers next to a few of them, so I don't have to slow down my process later when I address each task and I might even try to guess how much time each "to-do" might take.  I can get the less than 5 minutes out of the way first and scratch them off my list.


 However, I know from experience that interruptions delay completion of many of these "to-dos" from being completed in the simple timing that it appears.  Still, having that to refer to gets that off my mental checklist I'm trying to keep in my head.

My schedule is inconsistent and being a mom and wife, I'm constantly "on call" all the time.  My outside-the-home work is somewhat inconsistent as well because though I know I will be working certain days, I can also be called in on short notice to work days that I'm not previously scheduled to work. It happens all the time, so sometimes I think I'm going to have some "free" time and then I actually don't.  I can't really do much about that, except....


Its not often I do it, but sometimes, I just have to leave.  My household is very busy and demanding of my attention.  All my children are old enough that I can leave now if I absolutely need to.  One I choose to not leave alone, so I do work around that, but my go-to's are:


  • Going for a walk (oxygen does wonders!) and think, observe my surroundings.
  • Driving my vehicle to the local boat landing where I watch the activity on the water and get some thinking time where creativity can be stimulated.  (Here I can take my pen, paper and recorder with me in the car).  I curl up in the seat and start scratching my thoughts on paper
  • Go to my local library.  Its quiet there.  I don't record there, but I do have pen and paper and lots of books surrounding me with ideas for creative thinking if I require them.

Unfortunately, leaving is not always practical and other people's situations might allow them to get the concentration time at home.  They might even have a "do not disturb" space that family members honor.  I don't.  However if I did.....


  • Let the answer machine get the phone
  • close the door
  • turn off  cell phone
  • turn off social media

Now that that is established, here's what I've come across lately...An article in the Huffington Post called, "Stimulating Brain Waves May Boost Creativity and Ease Depression", written by Carolyn Gregoire, suggests that Alpha brain wave stimulation is a considerable factor in creativity and also refers to a study being done on the effects it may have in allieviating depression.  The study she cites used electrical impulses designed to enhance alpha wave oscillations.  It showed participants performed an average of 7.4 percent better on a test of creative thinking".


Do you have to get shock therapy to access those Alpha Brain Waves?  There must be other ways!
Gregoire also states in her article that MEDITATION can increase those alpha waves and she links it to a 2010 Norwegian study.  See the above huffington post article.

Here is a link to help beginners with learning how to meditate.



What I am about to say is not scientifically proven at all, its just a theory.  What about the music that claims to stimulate alpha waves, like this one?




I happen to notice that there is a favorite piece of music that gets me in that perfect headspace for creativity when I listen to it.  You may or may not be a fan, but I discovered this on the soundtrack for "City of Angels" and I love it!  Its called, An Angel Falls by Gabriel Yared.

What happens is I get involved in the music.  My heart races or settles with certain change-ups and sometimes my head feels like it will explode with emotion.  My mind is trying to picture when the grouping of strings come in and where the bows are on the strings with the different sounds and how their frett hands might wobble as well as the possible expression on the faces of those playing their instruments.  I do this sort of thing off and on throughout the composition.  Sometimes, I just see colored lines of light darting, circling, diving or rising with the music.  The thing that this does for me is help me to clear my mind of other junk, so that I can think creatively.  It makes me wonder if it stimulates those alpha waves.




I've often also found that the times when creativity gets stimulated is during prayer, not exactly when I want it, but it does happen and I think for the same reason that it happens when I settle down to go to bed (I also get ideas in the shower).  Its because my brain is settling down from the day's activities.  I also tend to fall asleep at those times, too, so if that happens, I let it.  My brain doesn't function well when I'm overtired or sick.  Its all a gift--prayer, sleep, rest and creativity--they're all welcomed by me, so whatever happens, I accept it.


So we've got the ears and mind so far.  How about tactile senses?  How often have you taken off your shoes and just "felt" the sensation of your feet glued to the ground or placed your whole palm down on a table or desk and paid full attention to what it felt like.  My favorite, how about skimming (if you're a woman) your man's stubble with the palm of your hand? (I do it with my face) just barely touching the ends or maybe even his short-cropped hair (crew cut) or bald head.  


Guys, sorry, I don't know how to advise you, just the ladies.  You'll have to use your creativity. :D


Okay, so that's ears, mind, tactile, lets do visual.  How about looking closely at nature.  I mean, really close.  Take a snowflake, examine it.  How many branches does it have? does it sparkle?  How about a flower?  Notice the petals, the stamen, the pistils, the pollen, the colors on the inside vs. the outside and hey, go for the tactile, too.  Feel those petals, they're often incredibly smooth on a rose or buttercup or if you have a dandilion, you can do like with the facial stubble above.  You just might have to wash the yellow off your face afterward.
At night, you can observe the moon for its features, the galaxy for its features, feel the air.  All this does is to help push off the busyness and help to refocus.

I suppose if you close your eyes, a pleasant smell can do the same, and if you take a moment to think of savoring your food, each bite, focussing on taste and smell and texture, it might be enough to feel that calm that I personally think is the first step in accessing creativity.
Basically experiencing the moment.  I'm going to try it.  I haven't done so well lately.



Since this is all exploration for me, I ask you, what are your creativity killers and what do you do to access your creativity?

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7 hours ago, Patchez said:

-- Creativity ?, -- just play. 

Someone spent allot of money on a report recently released that determined that "Singing" was "good for you". Yes, indeed. All sort of good stuff chemicals are released and have many positive affects/effects on the body. 

I am so glad you brought this up!  This most certainly could be an extension to this article.


 I have been exposed to the idea of play to stimulate creativity.  As a matter of fact, I believe you were a contributor to my exposure to the idea of that awhile back.  Not necessarily the scientific side—but makes sense to me.

I definitely need more play.  


I’ve also “heard” of that report about singing, well...not sure if “that” report, but some reference to a study done, but I hadn’t pursued it further—it also just made sense to me.  


Glad to have your contribution on other ideas for creativity stimulators—play and just staying focused.


How could I forget negativity as a creativity killer?  Well...I think I’ve possibly become immune to it—over-exposure maybe, lol.


However I can attest to the fact that having some positive reinforcement to counteract negativity helps.  Something you’ve been instrumental part of through the last number of years.  Thanks, friend.

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