So working in a creative environment, this piqued my interest to explore further. All the above benefits are great to us all but what’s the evidence that mindfulness can help more specifically with creativity?
Reading an article published in the Harvard Business review, it notes Danny Penman, in his book, Mindfulness for Creativity, argues that mindfulness practices including mindful meditation, enhance three essential skills necessary for creative problem solving. Mindfulness switches on divergent thinking which means opening your mind to new ideas. Meditating before brainstorming and creative sessions allows you to fully focus and produce higher quality ideas.
Secondly, mindfulness practice improves attention and makes it easier to sort through the usefulness of ideas. In a noisy, cluttered mind it is easy to miss the signals. When a moment of insight appears, you want to be sure you have the clarity of thought to see it.
And finally, mindfulness nurtures resilience in the face of setbacks, which is important as failure and setbacks are the norm for any innovation process. At this stage, it’s important to stay focused, positive and motivated without allowing defeat to set in. Meditating during this phase promotes attention and convergent thinking – using less imagination and more cognitive control for analytical evaluation. This helps you to fine tune an idea into something both novel and useful.