How To Train Your Imagination—Exercises To Hit Your Creative Peak
How To Train Your Imagination—Exercises To Hit Your Creative Peak

Have you ever wondered how to improve your imagination? If so i’ve got the best exercises for imagination for you to try today.

I use imagination exercises every day. You should too. Why? Because your imagination is your most powerful tool.

Think about it.

The creative mind is the place from where all new ideas and visions are born.

It is only thanks to the creative mind that Gaudi was able to construct the most divine architecture in Sagara Familia, or that Shakespeare was able to distill the essence of man and use it to pen such timeless classics as Hamlet and Macbeth, or that Monet was able to take the port of Le Havre France and convert it into his masterpieces.

Look around at all the inventions we take for granted today. How many items around you were first visualized in someone’s mind?

It is the power of imagination that fuels creativity (read: How To Increase Creativity)

That is why it is such a good idea to start doing some activities to improve your imagination.

And while you are improving your creative faculties, you might like to improve other areas of your mind too  (Read: 10 Mind Training Techniques To Try). 







For thousands of years people have used exercises to improve imagination

Did you know, people have been doing imagination exercises for millenia.

In the ancient spiritual text the Vedas, imagination is viewed as both the transcendent power through which the gods created the universe, and the power that joins the human spirit with the ultimate reality (1).

To live your ultimate reality, you have to improve your imagination.

Just think about what you yourself could accomplish by doing some imagination exercises.

Benefits Of Being More Imaginative

When you train your imagination, you increase your creative mind power.

When you’re at your most creative, you open up the possibilities in your life. This ultimately will make you more successful.

Disagree? Just consider the effect imagination has on these 3 areas of your life:

  1. Career: A highly imaginative person will see the possibilities for career development, and they will also be more likely to create new things, such as products to sell (a big deal for any entrepreneur).
  2. Dating: Believe it or not, the creative mind effects dating. For starters, people are more attractive to creative and imaginative people (2)
  3. Health: This is truly phenomenal. Science shows Imaginative people are healthier. Increased creativity leads to less anxiety, better mental health, and better problem-solving skills (3).

All of this shows why the creative mind is so important. That’s why it’s a good idea to start using exercise to improve imagination.

Poet Pablo Neruda famously said, “Everything you can imagine is real.”

Einstein said:

 “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.”

How can you improve your imagination? The exercises below are a great place to start.

How To Improve Imagination — Exercises You Should Try

1. Meditation for the creative mind

One of the best ways how improve imagination is with meditation [Use THESE meditations for creativity]

This is especially true for “Open meditation techniques”.

Open meditation techniques are meditations in which we do not focus on a singular thing. Instead, we we open our minds to the entirety of our environment. We are mindful of everything. This has a big effect on our creative faculties.

Science proves that open meditations are some of the best exercises for improving imaginatioon.

Cognitive psychologists Lorena Colato and Dominique Lippelt at Leiden University conducted research and discovered that a brief meditation session can have a deep and lasting affect on your creative brain. However, this is only true for “open” meditation techniques (meditations in which you are receptive to your entire environment and to thoughts and sensations)—Read my guide to 31 forms of meditation for more on this.

2. The best imagination-training exercise is to be a kid

If you want to know how to train your imagination, learn from kids. .

Pablo Picasso said:”Everyone starts off as an artist. The trick is staying that way.”

Kids love using their imagination. They’re always creating stories, drawing picture, playing imaginary games. But we stop doing these things as we grow up. That’s why if you don’t start to improve your imagination, you may lose it.

One way to do that is by having fun like a kid.

Fun implies a sense of playfulness. Playfulness implies a sense of creativity, a sense of messing around, changing things, and experimenting.

Be creative. Have fun.

2b.  Video games develop your creative faculties

Video games have been scientifically proven to make you more creative and to improve imagination (5).

Some genres of games are better at this than others.

Creative games like Snipperclips for the Nintendo Switch, for instance, teach you to be more creative and artistic.

Fantasy games like Dragon Age and Final Fantasy show you amazing fantastical lands and characters, inspiring your creative mind.

And there are games that get you to draw or to be creative in other ways (Minecraft, for instance).

3. Make use of these 40 daily brain training activities. The healthier your brain is in general, the stronger your creative brain will be.

4. An alternative imagination exercise is to just… shower?!

In his groundbreaking book, Wired To Create, Scott Barry Kaufman says that 72% of people have creative insights in the shower.

When we are showering we are (usually) alone and relaxed. We are in an isolated environment where there is little to distract us.

The sound of the water mixed with the massaging of the body make us highly relaxed. And a relaxed mind is a creative mind (6).

To train your imagination, take a truly relaxing shower with some aromatherapy soaps.

Train your imagination in the shower

1. Meditate on the sound of the water

2. Be mindful of the feeling of washing your body

3. Breathe in the warm air 

4. Smell the fresh scents of the soap 

5 .Above all relax. A relaxed mind is a creative mind.

5. Use this visual memory exercise

Another of my favorite ways to improve imagination is with a visualization exercise.

Visual imagination is the ability to perceive mental images.

For instance, I’m currently writing a fantasy novel. It’s full of lots of elaborate fantasy worlds. And when I write I literally step into those worlds. I’ve always had an insanely powerful creative mind, so when I write I literally see my fictional world around me. That’s visual imagination.

Here’s one technique I personally use to train my visual imagination:

Visual Imagination Exercise For The Imagination

1)      Start by closing your eyes and taking a few calming breaths just to silence the thoughts of the day. (Use this guide to Breathing Meditation. It’ll relax you very quickly and very deeply).

2)      Visualize that you are stepping into your chosen room of your house. You open the door and turn to the left. What do you see?  Take your time to really visualise the wall, any furniture, windows etc. This should take a minute or two. Allow yourself to see the colours of this side of the room, the shapes, the general outline of the room and so on.

3)      Now proceed to the next wall and repeat the process. Repeat this process for each wall of the room, so you are taking a minute or two to paint a mental picture in your mind’s eye of each side of the room.

4)      Once you have viewed each side of the room, allow yourself to fill in the details. Are there any items left out? Is anything out of place? Are the lights on or off? Allow yourself to see these details.

5)      Open your eyes and try to recall the same mental picture. You will find it to be harder because information from your environment is interfering with the mental picture. The more you practice this exercise the more you will be able to use your creative mind whilst your eyes are open, and this will greatly help you to think clearly in your day to day life.

I personally do this exercise once a week. It’s a powerful way to train your ability to visualise. But you might be wondering: Why do you want to imagine the rooms of your house?

The exercise is a means to an end. When you can visualise your house easily, you’ll be able to visualise other things. It will help you to see what’s in your mind’s eye more clearly. It’s only by visualizing the details of my own home that I’ve trained my imagination to be able to see the feathers of a griffin in flight when writing my novel, or the facial contours of the snow wolf that is one of my main characters.

You can also use this to help you with visualisations. One of the best psychological exercises you can do is visualise your path to success. This will help with that (if you’d like to know more about this, take a look at my guide to training your subconscious mind).

6: Practice Yoga for both a physical exercise and an imagination exercise

Read my guide to yoga for creativity for more on this.

 7. An easy way to improve your imagination is to read and watch fantasy : 

It has been scientifically proven that when you read highly imaginative fiction you open your mind and increase your imaginative powers (4).

Probably the best genre for this is the fantasy genre.

Reading fantasy novels is one of the best imagination exercises you can do.

Fantasy books are packed full of highly imaginative scenes and are perhaps the most creatively-liberating genre of novels.

Alternatively,  watch highly creative movies. These can either be movies that are highly creative in themselves (Inception, for instance), or movies that show a character being highly creative.

Ryan Niemic is a positive psychologist who conducted research showing that the movies we watch have a profound impact on our mind. We can actually watch movies to learn specific human characteristics, including creativity.

In his book Positive Psychology At The Movies, Niemiec states that the best movies for imagination are:

  • A Beautiful Mind
  • Aviator
  • Cast Away
  • Edward Scissorhands

Here are some imagination exercises for writers

If you are a writer, you really should try my mindful writing exercises. They will boost your creative writing skills big time while training your mind at the same time.

But the best imagination training exercise is to just have fun

The single best way how to improve imagination is just to have fun.

As an artist, actor, writer, poet, and journalist I’ve used my creative mind professional for many years.

And honestly, every single time I’ve come up with a new idea that knocked my socks off, it’s been while I was messing around, when I was just having a laugh. And there’s a reason for that.

It’s because, neurologically, feats of the imagination require neuroplasticity.

Imagination exercises all increase your neuroplasticity.

The creative mind depends on the ability to inject entropy into your mind, to mess things up, to come up with new ideas rather than sticking to the same-old thought patterns.

But that’s really just a clever way of saying that you should let go, have fun, and allow your imagination to take you where it will.

Leave a comment and remember to subscribe to our newsletter.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Great article! I’ve found that my mental visualization hasn’t been so great but imagining rooms in my house is reallly helping. Thank you!

Leave a Reply

Close Menu