9 Scientifically Proven Creative Ways to Boost Creativity

Whenever you hear the word “creativity,” do you think of friends and colleagues who are artists or writers or are just inventive. And assume that you are not the creative type? You are selling yourself short.

Creativity lives within all of us. Being creative means coming up with ideas, recognizing new possibilities, and solving problems “outside the box.” How can you foster your own creativity? Studies suggest many ways to tap into your creative, innovative side, such as the following.

9 Scientifically Proven Ways to Boost Your Creativity

In order to be creative, you need to have a good idea of what you want to do and you need to be able to brainstorm. Below are Creative Ways to Boost Creativity.

Get Physically Fit

Physical activity, incredibly intense exercise, can boost creativity, at least in people who already exercise regularly, suggested a Dutch study in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience in 2013

It compared young adults who customarily exercised with non-exercisers. Both groups did stationary cycling moderately or intensely. They underwent creativity testing during and after the workouts, and the results were compared to testing done without exercise.

The activities modestly stimulated creative thinking for the regular exercisers (but not the sedentary group).

Just Go For A Walk.

Getting off the couch and moving doesn’t just do your body good—it can apparently get your creative juices flowing. A 2014 study found that after people walked, they did significantly better on tests of creative thinking than when they had been sedentary.

That is true whether they were walking outside or even on a treadmill. A treadmill or outside. “Walking opens up the free flow of ideas. It is a simple and robust solution to the goals of increasing creativity and increasing physical activity,” the Stanford University researchers wrote.

Spend Time Doodling

A study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology in 2012 found that the arm and hand movements associated with drawing curvy lines and shapes were associated with a boost in creativity in undergraduate students. 

Look At Something Green.

In a series of experiments in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin in 2012, participants briefly looked at a colored rectangle on a computer screen or piece of paper.

Before taking creativity tests, performed more imaginatively when the rectangle was green vs. red, blue, or white. It may sound farfetched, but the German researchers hypothesized that because humans have long perceived the color green as a sign of growth (at least in the plant world). It might have a psychologically stimulating effect on creativity.


In a Chinese study in the journal Behavior and Brain Functions in 2014undergraduates who meditated (a form of meditation called integrative mind-body training) 30 minutes a day for one week performed better on standardized creativity testing than a control group that did muscle relaxation.

Keep A Dream Log

In a study in the Journal of Creative Behavior in 2016, undergraduates who wrote about their dreams in a daily log had more significant improvement on creativity tests than students who recorded vivid events from the previous day.

The researchers suggested that. Increased awareness of dreams may increase creativity by “loosening stereotyped and predictable associative patterns of thinking,” the researchers suggested.


Set time aside—maybe even ten minutes a day—to let your mind wander, with no selected destination. This was shown to boost creativity in a study in Psychological Science in 2012.

“Researchers from the University of California at Santa Barbara”. Found that doing an undemanding task that encourages mind wandering helped people find creative solutions to problems stumping them.

Dim The Lights

Working in dimmer light can instill a sense of freedom and disinhibition that breeds creativity. Compared to standard office lighting, suggested a series of experiments in the Journal of Environmental Psychology in 2013.

Talk With Your Hands.

In a study in the journal Psychological Science in 2016, English children (ages 9 to 11) came up with more creative ideas when encouraged to gesture while talking than those who did not gesture.

“Asking children to move their hands while they think can help them tap into novel ideas,” the researchers concluded. “Children should be encouraged to think with their hands.” It’s not known whether this would help adults as well.

Bottom line

Creativity is a complicated, elusive, and variable process and is thus hard to study. What helps foster it in some people might hinder it in others. Most of these studies were relatively small and short, and the beneficial effects detected may not persist.

But taken together, this research supports the idea that creativity isn’t just something that stays in the on or off position. The trick is to find the activities and environment that help you tap into the creativity within you.

FAQS: 9 Scientifically Proven Creative Ways to Boost Creativity.

Below I answer the simple questions people asked about boosting creativity.

How to increase creativity in students?

There is no single method to increase creativity in students, but some general tips include:
Encourage creativity by providing opportunities for students to express their ideas.
Encourage students to experiment with new ideas.
Help students develop their own creative processes.
Encourage students to share their ideas with others.

How to increase your creativity and imagination

There are many ways to increase your creativity and imagination, but some tips to help include:
Take a break from your work and focus on something else.
Experiment with different ways to approach your work.
Draw on your own experiences and memories to help you imagine new ideas.
Write down your ideas and work on them for a while, then share your work with others.
Get involved in creative activities that interest you.
Take a class or attend an art class.
Use creative writing tools to write down your ideas.

What activities stimulate creativity?

There are many other activities that can be creative. Here are a few ideas:
Take a walk.
Draw or paint.
Look at creative designs.
Listen to music or read creative stories.
Make a design or art project.
Draw or paint with a child.
Make a map or plan.
Make a sculpture.
Write a story.
Watch a creative film.


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