8 Ways to Boost Your Creativity

Difficult times often lead to great innovations - after all, necessity is the mother of invention.

So, if you are feeling the pinch in your purse, now is the time to capitalise on your creativity. New Scientists' Alison Motluck explains how.

1. Embrace Your Inner Grouch

It's hard to stay upbeat when your penny-pinching bosses are counting paper clips and coffee grains, but here's some good news: workplace discontent may just be a vast, untapped source of creativity.

2. Let Your Mind Wander

A wandering mind may allow your brain to search more widely for connections that could trigger a "eureka" moment.

3. Play the Piano

Music may provide more than just a brief respite from life's stresses – it may help you to think with both sides of your brain at once.

4.Color Your World Blue

It may be nothing more than an association with big skies and the open seas, but beholding the color blue makes you more creative.

5. Seek Out Creative Company

The best ideas are forged not in moments of solitary genius, but during exchanges with trusted colleagues.

6. Live Abroad

The idea that living abroad spurs creativity has been in the popular psyche for eons – and now science backs up the idea.

7. Be More Playful

When times get tough, many people turn serious, but some researchers believe that horsing around may be better in the long run than hunkering down.

8. Raise a Glass

Many of the most creative pursuits – jazz, for instance, and poetry – are associated with heavy boozing, but can a dram or two really help?

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