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Getting inspired is like falling in love. It often happens when you least expect it and can disappear when you crave it most. As creative artists, whether your canvas is hair, a face or a blank sheet of paper, a lack of creative energy can leave you feeling frustrated, desperate, and lost.

So when the ideas stop flowing and you feel lost in the dark, here are 5 things to do that will reignite your spark.

Laugh

“The human race has one really effective weapon, and that is laughter.” - Mark Twain

We all know that laughter is the best medicine and can cheer you up when you’re down. But did you know that laughter can also cure a lack of imagination? The brain processes laughter and creativity in similar manners. Creativity occurs when there’s a connection between two seemingly unrelated ideas. Similarly, laughter occurs when two thoughts unexpected, seemingly unrelated ideas combine. Therefore, by laughing you are reminding your brain how to think in a way that sparks creativity.

So while you may think it’s unproductive to take a work break to throw on an old rerun of The Office, laughing is actually one of the most effective ways to get your creative juices flowing again.

Use Others To Inspire You

“Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.” - Helen Keller

Have you ever found yourself exerting all your energy to come up with an inspired idea, yet the harder you tried the less inspired you felt? As a creator, it is common to be self-reliant, especially when it comes to your work. However, conversing with others is the best way to expand your perspective and broaden your capacity for new thoughts. If you have an inspirational friend or Sola mentor down the hall, give them a call or meet up for a drink.

Collaboration leads to inspiration which yields innovation. Human beings are miracles and our minds are the world’s most powerful resource. Use the resources around you and let the other miracles of the world help you to create your next masterpiece.

Journal

“I want to write, but more than that, I want to bring out all kinds of things that lie buried deep in my heart." —Anne Frank

When you are feeling blocked, it’s often because there is something inside that’s blocking your natural flow. However, it’s hard to release a blockage if you don’t know what’s causing it. Writing is one of the best ways to discover what’s bothering you, and can often uncover to a way to remedy your pain as well. Your journals are not for anyone else’s eyes, meaning they can be created free of judgement or guidelines. It’s a completely open platform for you to connect with the deeper parts of your soul. By eliminating restrictions and focusing solely on self-expression, it’s guaranteed to not only get your wheels turning, but can also help uncover why they got stuck in the first place.

Exercise

“I get bursts of creativity with bursts of physical activity.” - Payal Kadakia, ClassPass CEO and Co-Founder

Similar to laughter, exercise has dramatic positive effects on the functionality of the brain. Cardiovascular and aerobic exercise stimulate an effect in the brain called Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF). This effect triggers the development of new brain cells in the hippocampus, the area of the brain known for long term memory. Interestingly, recent studies have shown that the hippocampus can also play a role in the brain’s ability to think creatively and boost productivity.

Exercise also makes you feel good! When you feel good, your brain functions more efficiently, allowing more neurons to fire, and sparking a surge of brilliant ideas.

Check out these great yoga tips for the salon for a mid-day boost!

Go Outside

“Look deep into nature and then you will understand everything better.” - Albert Einstein

Studies have shown that there are many scientific correlations between being in nature and being inspired. One study by Stanford University found that spending time in nature creates a shift in a person’s perspective of time. Instead of feeling limited by a lack of time, nature creates “time abundance,” where time is viewed as an abundant resource rather than a scarce commodity. This phenomenon reduces stress and increases creative energy.

Nature is miraculous. The natural perfection of Mother Earth quiets the mind and allows the prefrontal cortex to rest and reboot, causing ideas to once again flow freely.

There are countless ways to get your juices flowing when you hit a wall. Whether it’s using the ideas on this list or creating strategies of your own, it’s important to have tools you can turn to when these inevitable blockages occur. But most importantly remember, that just like falling in love, as soon inspiration strikes again, it’ll feel as miraculous as if it never left.

 
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