Mental Health

How To Overcome A Creative Block

Feeling stuck with limited ideas and unable to create something fresh? This might be due to the creator’s block. Read on for insights into what causes it and how to overcome a creative block.

By URLife Team
27 Dec 2022

Sitting beside someone who chews loudly might be a tough spot to be in, but nothing compares to a major creative block. Whether you are tied up with your personal conflicts or trying to survive your new boss, this is your go-to guide on how to overcome a creative block.


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What Is A Creative Block And What Causes It?

Having difficulty forming new concepts or new ideas is known as creative block or artist block. It can hit you while trying to figure out the details of a project or simply attempting to make an innovative, original project from scratch. An inability to develop fresh ideas may be caused by various factors, resulting in an empty feeling like your creative capacity is drained. Attempts to come up with something interesting on your own prove futile, and no amount of effort appears to generate something new. Some of these factors can play a significant role:


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1. Mental Health

Mental health issues including depression and anxiety can greatly impact one's creativity. When feeling depressed, it can be hard to be innovative due to the lack of motivation and energy. Similarly, when feeling anxious, it is common to become overwhelmed by the lack of creative ideas, leading to further anxiety. If you are experiencing similar feelings, please consult a mental health professional for guidance and treatment.


2. Stress

Day-to-day stressors like financial challenges, relationship problems, job issues, family duties, and more can lead to blocked creativity. And with these problems in your life taking up your time and occupying space in your mind, you can barely make room for anything else.


3. Energy Level

A research conducted by Gap International and Forbes Insight revealed that lifestyle factors such as sleep play a crucial role in fostering creativity. Even the most creative and intelligent people sleep adequately to allow their brains to function properly. A decrease in energy is also a significant culprit behind your creative block. This can be due to lack of sleep. Not getting adequate sleep can impede creativity and sap energy, leaving one feeling helpless or overwhelmed and blocking creative thought.

Sleep deprivation can directly affect the ability of your brain to perform as the levels of brain activity change in each stage of sleep. Since the neurons don’t have time to recuperate due to lack of sleep, they tend to become overworked and less capable of optimal performance in numerous types of thinking.


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4. Fright Of Failure

Another reason for your creator’s block can be your fear of failing. You are hesitant to pursue any prospects unless you know with certainty that you will succeed, preventing you from coming up with any new ideas due to a definite lack of confidence.


5. Perfectionism

Excessive desire for perfection can lead to the feeling that creativity is lacking. Seeking perfection can be a futile effort as it is an unattainable objective. Spending extended periods trying to reach this impossible standard can impede progress.


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How To Overcome Creative Block

Undergoing a creative block isn’t the end of the world. It’s also not an illness that can be treated with medicines. Sharing some insights on how to tackle the issue, career expert Debeshi Chakraborti says, "Creative block is not a theorem or algorithm that you can call it a 'block'. How do you define a phase in which you are not mapping your creativity is upto you, and so, I refuse to say it is a 'block' from the productive mindset. And, why do you need to overcome it? why can't you be ok with it? If you wish to overcome spring and directly enjoy the summers, does that work? The route of creativity is very organic, and that's why, creative people are highly-paid and celebrated."

Depending on what is causing you to block your creativity, there are different ways to get over this hurdle. Let’s discuss some of the best strategies:

1. Conduct Brainstorming Sessions

Whether you are an artist, a working professional, or an entrepreneur, dealing with a creative block is highly frustrating. One trick to overcome it is through intense brainstorming sessions. Brainstorming is a spontaneous way to generate new thoughts.

It is believed that not all great ideas are just randomly born; rather, they are improvements to existing ones. And this is why keeping your mind open to new ideas is necessary. Participate in forums or search the internet for relevant news, events, or ideas. The more you look everywhere, your brain adjusts and opens up to creative ideas.


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2. Skip Perfectionism

As mentioned above, one of the primary reasons behind a creative block is the constant need to chase perfection. Simply make up your mind and understand that you are a ‘work in progress’ like everyone else. This diverts your attention from perfection to progress and allows you to hone your skills too.


3. Turn To Nature

A 2015 study by Urban Forestry & Urban Greening conducted among creative Danish professionals revealed that nature holds the ability to boost creativity. Further, it was concluded that it also assists us in recharging our attention needed to develop ideas and analyse situations. So, the next time you face a creative block, head out for a walk in the park.


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4. Take A Break

"If you are a creative person, it is organic to pause for a bit," says Debeshi Chakraborty. Taking a break from the workplace, whether for a few hours or an entire day, can provide a refreshing new perspective on the task at hand. Seeking out a place that stimulates or relaxes you can improve productivity, creativity, and overall well-being.

This is a great tip to make your home-office work more productive. Working from home can get extremely mundane, adding to blocked creativity. For this, getting up from your desk and seeking peace is a great option.


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5. Seek Inspiration

Take a break from your task and gain fresh insights through somebody else's creativity. Exploring a few great books, podcasts, or other forms of media can provide inspiration and help to break through a creative block. Don't limit yourself to works related to your project. Often, even the most unexpected sources can lend those sparkly insights to get you back on track.


6. Move Your Body

Getting up and going for a walk is one of the best ways to get over a creative block, advises behavioural and learning scientist Marily Oppezzo.

Even a Stanford study confirmed that walking boosts your creativity. The study revealed that 60% of its participants felt more creative after walking than those sitting all along.


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Burst Through The Creative Block

Frustrating yet typical, don't let blocked creativity plunge you into despair and convince you to change careers. Ideas are out there; you just need to find them. Put into practice some of the tactics above, and you'll soon find yourself full of inspiration.


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