A key component of our joy, happiness and overall well-being, creativity comes in a variety of manifestations. Musicians, artists and writers are seen as creative individuals, but so are scientists, accountants and lawyers. In fact, we are all born with the capacity to be creative.

At 24Life, we believe in the personal power of creativity—the creativity to express yourself, to problem-solve, to imagine and play, to design your day, to motivate your workouts and to recreate yourself in the new year.

On that note, we’ve pulled together some of our best stories in this creativity guide to help inspire and motivate you to cultivate your own creativity muscle throughout the year ahead.

Creativity 101

What exactly is creativity?

Where does creativity originate?

Why is everyday creativity important?

Start here to fully understand the imagination that lives in all of us.

The brain’s creative chaos

Creativity isn’t just an artistic expression but the beauty of finding solutions for numerous types of issues.

Rather than simple right-brain, left-brain thinking, experts agree that creativity neuroscience is much more complex and unstructured than that—nothing like the linear idea that all our creative thinking occurs on one side of the brain. In the last five years, neuroscience has made a case that our brains don’t pick sides.

Creativity is a mix of skills, knowledge, attitudes, motivations and personality traits that are intertwined with networks on both sides of the brain. Discover how our brains approach the creative process, and start fostering your own creative muscle.

5 tips to jump-start creativity

Two elements need to come together to create. The first is thinking and the second is doing. We have become human doings, and that is why I believe most of us are losing our creative juices. We are so busy looking down into our phones and living life through the lens of social media that we forget to nurture a sense of wonder.

Now is the time for us all to stop watching what everyone else is doing and starting living life to the fullest, in real time and with meaning and purpose. Get your creativity flowing again with these five tips.

Meditation improves creativity

While we don’t often associate meditation with becoming more creative, the byproducts of a regular meditation practice—such as focus, calmness, patience, clarity and perspective—go a long way toward boosting creativity. Discover how calming your mind, practicing non-attachment and letting go of self-judgment through meditation allows your creative energy to flow more freely.

6 habits to keep creativity on tap

Creative insights seldom come on demand, but the good news is you can implement processes that contribute to your creativity every day. Check out these daily habits, including being more observant and giving yourself permission to fail, that help keep the ideas flowing throughout your day.

Open your arms to inspiration

Sometimes we feel uninspired, bored or a total lack of creativity. Forgetting our interconnectedness to do everything else, we get stuck in our ruts, and we don’t see the magic and beauty in our everyday moments.

So the next time you’re feeling low on creativity or feeling in a rut with your job or your workout routine, take a moment to reconnect to the core of yourself, to the divine spirit that runs through you and through all things. Check out this combination of pressure points and posture from Energy Medicine founder Lauren Walker, and create a path for fresh energy and inspiration to flow through you.

24 ways to design your thinking and increase your creative confidence

We are all designers. Design is ubiquitous. It’s everywhere. We create consciously and unconsciously in every area of our lives. Bad design leads to never-ending frustration, and good design either takes our breath away or is taken completely for granted.

IDEO U is an online school where anyone can unlock their creative potential through design thinking, a methodology or process used to solve a variety of complex and intricate problems. Because design thinking draws on logic, imagination, intuition and systemic reasoning to explore possibilities of what could be—it has incredible application to support anything you wish to create, whether that be a workout, a card for someone you love or a better day.

Check out these 24 design tips to slow down time and guide you to co-create with joy.

Cartwheel for creativity

Spark your creativity by getting upside down!

When most people think of creativity, art and music are probably what spring to mind first. But we also can be creative and inventive with our bodies. Learn how to overcome mental blocks and do a cartwheel with this step-by-step guide. 

Playlist: creativity unleashed

You can use sound, among other things, to make a space that supports discovery. Unleash your creativity with this playlist by Derek Beres.

Photo credit: Steve Johnson, Unsplash