Humans are inherently creative by nature. We live creative lives, whether we realize it or not. We daydream, we sing, we dance around the kitchen as we make dinner. Although many of us may feel as if the creative gene passed us by, the truth is that our creativity is in there, waiting to be released.

Creativity doesn’t always have to look like a tortured artist laboring over an elaborate painting. Sometimes creativity can show itself in smaller, more intimate ways. A gardener planting flowers, a dad making smiley-face chocolate chip pancakes. These are the subtle, earnest ways that we demonstrate our inner creatives. But for some of us, we crave more. We want to tap into our creative potential and have something to show for it.

If you are one of those people, yearning to take your creativity from its day-to-day existence and into something more tangible, don’t stress. There are a few tried-and-true ways to unleash your inner creativity. Check out these tips for bringing more creativity into your life.

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Tips for Unleashing Your Inner Creative

Creativity is just like any other skill you want to hone; it takes practice and consistency. If you want to get in better shape, you understand that you must eat well and exercise often. Over time, those things will become easier for you. The same can be said about creativity.

Incorporating the following practices into your daily life will encourage creative living. Before you know it, you’ll simply be a creative person, without really having to think about it.

Morning Journaling

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Many creative people attribute their mental clarity to their daily journaling habits. This is a practice best exercised at the beginning of every day. Some people refer to it as a “free-writing session,” while others call it a “brain dump.” Either way, it’s a good tool to clear your mind of anything that cropped up during the night.

Sometimes stress can block our inner creativity, but journaling about it—the act of getting it all out on paper—can help get it out of your head, freeing your brain to focus on other things. Or maybe you woke up with inspiration! If that’s the case, it’s vital to get it written down before you get too busy with real-life issues and forget.

No matter how you look at it, morning journaling is a gateway to creative living.

Be Curious

Many creative people that we admire are curious by nature. The person who thinks they already know everything is essentially shutting creativity out of their life.

Observe your surroundings and ask questions! Be curious about people and their experiences. You never know what will spark your imagination, but if you aren’t actively looking for it, you may never find it.

When you’re out in the world, put your phone down for a while and be open to the people and potential experiences around you. Wonder about the world and find answers. The more you know, the more material you have at your disposal.

Meditate

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The world is a chaotic, busy place. Our daily lives can fill up quickly with chores, tasks, and other people. With so much noise, it’s important that we give ourselves a few moments each day to just be.

During meditation, we quiet the mind and the world around us slows down for a bit. We are given a chance to check in with ourselves and listen to our own thoughts and desires. In the midst of meditation, you are primed to receive whatever the creative spirit asks of you.

If you are looking for creativity, meditation is a good place to find it.

Build Your Network

It’s common knowledge that we become like those we spend the most time with. This stands to reason that if we want to be creative, we should surround ourselves with like-minded people.

Allow yourself to glean wisdom and inspiration from others, rather than isolating your own creative spirit. Fellow creative people can help you come up with new ideas, or simply give you feedback on your current work.

In any case, having a solid network of creative contemporaries will help keep you on the creative path.

Consume Art

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Regardless of your personal form of creativity, you should be constantly consuming all types of creativity. Listen to new music, spend an afternoon in a museum, read books! Anything that can bring you out of your analytical brain and into your inner creative is how you should be spending your free time.

If you’re a writer, you may think that going to a museum wouldn’t benefit you. But you never know when a certain painting may unlock new ideas within you which will improve your writing.

When it comes to being a creative person, you must keep all vessels open.

Adhere to Deadlines

Although most people think of creativity as a burst of inspiration that just happens magically, the truth is that real artists spend many uninspired moments honing their skills. Creativity takes practice!

If you’re a musician, you must spend hours upon hours learning your instrument. Then, when inspiration for a new song DOES appear, you’re ready to receive it.

If you’re a writer, make yourself write every single day. Not all of it will be good, but every word is leading you to your next good idea.

If you don’t give yourself deadlines for your work, then you’ll just end up staring at a blank screen or canvas, willing inspiration to hit you, but never really creating anything.

Set the Stage

Create a space for yourself that feels creative. Whether that’s an extra bedroom in your house or even just a tiny nook in the kitchen, it should feel comfortable and inviting. Give yourself all the necessary tools so that you can be your most creative self.

If you’re a painter, make sure to always have fresh canvases on hand, along with fresh paints and brushes.

If you’re a writer, an ergonomic set-up can really go a long way.

The last thing you want is to be right in the middle of a burst of inspiration but have to take a break because your body aches. Invest in the right tools, like an ergonomic keyboard, so that your creativity has no excuse.

Let Your Inner Creative Play

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Above all, creativity should be fun. If you are taking it all too seriously, then your “creativity” may start to feel a little stagnant.

Follow these tips to set yourself up for success, and then let your imagination take the wheel. When your creative voice is ready to speak to you, you’ll be ready to listen.