5 ways to increase imagination and decrease stress

Many studies suggest a correlation between the lack of creativity during stressful times. But can creative and imaginative exercises help you decrease your stress levels and be more present? We think yes. Here's now.
You don't have to be an art aficionado or have a dedicated hobby or artistic endeavor to be creative. Instead, small hacks can help guide you.

1.Rediscover your favorite childhood activity

What did you love to do as a kid? Swim? Basketball? Paint? We often abandon activities we care about because they don't fit into our schedules or we realize we aren't excelling. But this doesn't change how much joy they provided. Bringing an activity you used to love when you were a kid, into your adult life, can help connect you to your inner child and unleash creative thinking.

2. Read something for fun…(vs. work)

Articles and business books are great…but when was the last time you enjoyed reading? The act of going to a bookstore, exploring book covers and eventually settling on “the one” can be a freeing experience. Taking time out of your schedule to read for enjoyment or listen to an audiobook that thrills you helps to broaden perspectives.

3. Get out of your comfort zone

Peruse Airbnb Experiences, MeetUp, TimeOut or any other source that reports on activities in your area and try to choose one that you wouldn't typically consider. For example, is there a concert that strikes you as being for people much older or younger? An exposition that you would never normally attend? A sports activity that you've never tried? Getting into an environment that forces you to feel nervous or excited can help your mind expand and spark new ideas.

4. Talk to a stranger

We were told over and over not to do this as children…but it seems like we're carrying this behavior into our adulthood. Striking up a conversation with a stranger on the train or standing next to you in line shouldn't be taboo. It's something people used to do before we had a screen to stare at. Instead, make a conscious effort to be present in your environment and engage the people around you.

5. Write in a journal for 5 minutes a day

Journal writing isn't just for teenage girls. It can reveal feelings that could be blocking your ability to think openly. It's also an activity that takes practice. Start with 5 minutes a day to build the habit and you'll soon discover that it becomes an important part of how you express new ideas.

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