Your imagination is unlimited! And it’s there for you to unlock and use any time you want to really. We don’t often link imagination with critical thinking yet they are two sides of the same coin. I am sure that a lot of the time we don’t even make space for our imagination to flow, let alone think critically…
A great way to exercise your imagination is by daydreaming. Daydreaming enhances happiness and creativity by letting your deepest wishes and natural instincts out. It’s important because it releases the spontaneous and free side of you and may help you to discover new things about yourself.
Daydreaming allows you to set a situation which allows you to have undirected thinking. Undirected thinking provides an opportunity for rich material from the deeper mind to rise to the surface of your thoughts.
Using your imagination does not make you impractical or determine whether or not you’re a childish person, imagination strengthens your creativeness, and is great for recreating the world around you.
Exercising your imagination allows you to combine all of your senses while you create an image.
An active imagination provides temporary happiness, calmness, is a great stress reliever, makes you less likely to feel anxious or depressed, while making you more likely to feel creative and content.
Harvard psychology professor Daniel Gilbert declares that “To see is to experience the world as it is, to remember is to experience the world as it was, but to imagine—ah, to imagine is to experience the world as it isn’t and has never been, but as it might be.”
“The greatest achievement of the human brain is its ability to imagine objects and episodes that do not exist in the realm of the real, and it is this ability that allows us to think about the future.”
So how can you make time and space for your imagination to flow?
- Allow yourself to daydream. If you are not comfortable sitting in silence or stillness take yourself for a walk – without your phone – and let go of some of your thoughts. A lot of the time there is so much gunk in our heads that we literally need to walk or exercise it out to allow other more creative ideas, daydreams or images to emerge.
- Try morning writing – this can be very powerful if you can train yourself to do it on a regular basis. Have a notebook by your bed and write for 20 minutes when you wake up. Again what you may notice is that a lot of “stuff” comes up before your imagination comes into play.
- See with the eyes of a child – allow yourself to be in the moment and play. If you have a child or relative under 10 even better! They will encourage your playful side if you just give it a chance and let go.
We need to make space for our imaginations and our daydreams.
Janet Echelman found her true voice as an artist when her paints went missing — which forced her to look to an unorthodox new art material. Now she makes billowing, flowing, building-sized sculpture with a surprisingly geeky edge. A transporting 10 minutes of pure creativity.
This week we are delighted to be working with the staff of University of the Arts delivering an online workshop on Critical Thinking.