“If you create something powerful and important, you must at the very least be driven by an equally powerful inner force.”
– Ryan Holiday
INFPs are almost all naturally creative people. They have an imagination that is boundless and a gift with words and writing that has made them some of the most renowned authors of all time. Rumored INFP creatives include Vincent van Gogh, Albert Camus, Edgar Allan Poe, and Kurt Cobain. With their outside-the-box thinking, non-conformist mindset, and deep emotional world, INFPs are probably the last people who need MY advice on creativity. That’s why I went to as many INFPs as I could find to get THEIR tips on hacking a creative mindset when you are feeling blocked. Here are some of their best ideas!
10 ways to Spark Your Creativity as an INFP
#1 – Spend Time in Nature
Did you know that when you spend time outside in a natural environment, how you view time transforms? A study done by Stanford University found that when people go outside they feel a sense of “awe”, as though time is expanding. Instead of feeling pressured, anxious, or rushed, they feel like time is in abundance. Creativity is often blocked when we feel pressured or constrained by time. Being in nature increases brain function, calms the soul, boosts your mood, and gives you the space to be creative.
#2 – Let Yourself Be Bored
Cancel non-essential responsibilities and “schedule” some non-scheduled time. Don’t plan anything out, just leave that time open. Allow yourself to be bored. In a recent study, researchers asked a group of subjects to do something boring, like copying numbers out of a phone book, and then take tests of creative thinking, like devising uses for cups. Surprisingly, bored subjects came up with more ideas than non-bored subjects! Boredom sparks creativity because a restless mind is anxious for stimulation and must create out-of-the-box options!
#3 – Read More Often
Reading frequently opens your mind to new perspectives, worlds, and wonders. The more you read, the more creative you’ll be! Reading just 30 minutes a day flexes your mind muscle and makes you think, fantasize, and imagine. Great writers are almost always great readers! Thankfully, INFPs are usually major bookworms 🙂
#4 – Listen to Music
Listening to music, especially classical music, improves memory, cognition, and creative thinking! I spoke to dozens of INFPs who told me that when they are in a creative block, they turn on the tunes to get inspired and find creative strategies and ideas!
#5 – Smell Your Way to Creativity
I spoke to several INFPs who are herbalists and they mentioned the creativity-stimulating powers of essential oils. Apparently frankincense fuels creativity by reducing stress and anxiety, grapefruit makes you more alert, and eucalyptus revs up the mind and makes it more creatively powerful.
#6 – Journal
“I keep one journal in my pocketbook and another by my bed. I always want a way to jot down my ideas and the random stories that kick around in my brain during the day. Then when I have more time I see what I can do with them!” – Maria, an INFP
You never know when an amazing, ingenious idea will strike you. Keep a journal or notebook handy so that you can catch it before it’s forgotten!
#7 – Get Sad
Okay, I’m not suggesting that you get majorly depressed. But find something melancholy that stirs your passions! Many INFPs told me that when they are in a creative funk they find watching sad movies, listening to sad songs, or reading melancholy stories evokes their own emotions and stirs them to create some of their most passionate work.
#8 – Go Somewhere New
Extraverted intuition, the auxiliary function that INFPs use, is stimulated by new environments and experiences. Go somewhere you’ve never been and explore a landscape you’ve never seen! Several INFPs I spoke with said that traveling and having a nomadic lifestyle keeps them creative.
#9 – Challenge Yourself
One study I heard recently found that placing constraints on creativity actually led to more creative expression! Try building a LEGO sculpture out of only one shape of block, or try coloring a bouquet of flowers with only one dull, unsharpened crayon. Think of a way you can problem-solve a creative piece of art!
#10 – Let Go of Expectations
One INFP artist I spoke with said that when she’s creatively stifled she paints without expectation and without a plan. She just lets the brush guide her and doesn’t worry about creating anything legible. She follows her intuition and emotions and sees where that takes her!
What Are Your Thoughts?
Do you have any suggestions to add? Let other INFPs know in the comments!
Find out more about your personality type in our eBooks, Discovering You: Unlocking the Power of Personality Type, The INFJ – Understanding the Mystic, and The INFP – Understanding the Dreamer. You can also connect with me via Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter!
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