We need to be in the right emotional state in order to be creative — brain functioning affects creativity and how we feel affects brain functioning. But unfortunately, that’s easier said than done in today’s workplace.
Here are pointers to stop the swirl of cynicism and negativity – ones that focus on you taking better care of yourself.
- Break your most destructive, focus-killing habits, like spending a large portion of your day (or weekend) on email or giving in to persistent distractions.
- Force yourself to take time to think and reflect. Mindfulness — reflective meditative practices — is extremely helpful when it comes to managing stress and cognitive functioning. As scholar Dan Goleman has told us for years, “Mindfulness…the ability to notice what is going on as it arises and to pause before we respond is a crucial emotional skill. Mindful meditation has been discovered to foster the ability to inhibit those very quick emotional impulses.” Take a mindfulness based stress reduction course or just read up and try some breathing exercises.
- Stop fretting about your deficiencies and failures. This may be most difficult for achievement oriented business people, but how can anyone possibly be creative without failing — a lot?
- Focus on what makes you happy at work. The positive emotions generated when you feel connected to your personal and organizational purpose — what really matters about what you do — will help you to stay grounded and creative, even when things are tough.