My meditation sessions are sporadic these days and sometimes interrupted by the squeal of kids on the Slip N Slide outside the window of my office-slash-meditation room
I might get five minutes to sit in quiet and watch my thoughts go skittering through like skeeters on a pond. Other times I’ll take twenty-five. But, no matter how long I spend, meditation is always a difference maker.
Even after just a few minutes, I feel myself settle in to a more relaxed and curious state – one without the rigid, routine, rational thinking that sometimes takes over my days.
My thoughts are more abstract after meditation, I’m more open, engaged and aware – probably because I’m less stressed and reactive. All this is good for creativity.
Researchers from the University of Amsterdam recently drew a link between mindfulness and creativity. In their study published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, they found that those with strong observation skills, which can be cultivated through a mindfulness meditation practice, also demonstrated greater originality and flexible thinking.
In another study, researchers at the Institute for Psychological Research and the Leiden Institute for Brain and Cognition in the Netherlands found that the focused attention developed during mindfulness and the meditative practice of observing thoughts without judgment leads to more, creative ideas.
It isn’t the non-judgmental awareness that makes the biggest difference, though, according to the University of Amsterdam researchers, but how you look at the world.
Mindfulness meditation, say researchers, reduces “cognitive rigidity” and helps us identify and develop innovative ideas. And, it eases stress in a big way which generally makes people more open and curious anyhow.
We have so much background noise in our daily routine that it’s nearly impossible to notice the new and innovative ideas we have in the first place. Mindful meditation can help us notice the spaces in between the racket and that’s where creativity resides.
So, stop making the excuses. Unleash your creative energy through mindfulness meditation.
In Wednesday’s post, I’ll show you how.