It's well known that meditation benefits the mind and body in a variety of ways, from reducing anxiety to enhancing concentration. A lesser known perk of practicing mindfulness is that the technique can also help promote creative thinking, whether you're artistic at heart or a left-brained individual.
How Mindful Meditation Supports Creativity
Meditation benefits the mind in ways that can translate to your artistic abilities. Firstly, the mindfulness and breathing exercises enhance the creative mind by helping you obtain mental clarity. This can cleanse you of negative thoughts that have hampered your ability to create in the past, and it help you find greater insight into yourself and the world around you. Additionally, the practice can enhance your ability to focus and improves patience, two skills that any professional artist knows are essential for finishing a creative project.
Scientific Proof Behind the Claim
While many people have reported enhanced creativity, there is also scientific proof. Researchers from Leiden University in the Netherlands conducted a study into how meditation techniques affect two main elements of creativity: divergent (the development of new thoughts) and convergent (the development of solutions) thinking.
The study asked participants to complete creativity tasks that measure imaginativeness before and after conducting one of two different types of meditation – either open monitoring such as mindfulness that involves opening up to all thoughts and sensations or focused attention that requires concentrating on a specific thought or object and blocking out everything else. The findings revealed that those who engaged in open monitoring meditation performed better on creative tasks.