DE­VELOP YOUR CRE­ATIVE SIDE PART 2

Learn tips to be more in­no­va­tive & cre­ative

Great Health Guide - - CONTENTS - Words Dr. Jenny Brockis De­sign Olek­san­dra Zuieva

Dr Jenny Brockis

Have you ever con­sid­ered be­ing tested for di­a­betes? Maybe you just pre­sume that it won’t hap­pen to you? Or that it’s some­thing that you will fo­cus on later on, when you get old? Well, think again. Like any des­ti­na­tion, there is usu­ally more than one route to get there. Your choice of path may be de­ter­mined by your fa­mil­iar­ity with the area you’re trav­el­ling in, how much faith you have in your ve­hi­cle, and time avail­able. Do you have a press­ing engagement to get to, or do you have time to take the scenic route?

THE AL­TER­NA­TIVE ROUTE TO PROB­LEM SOLV­ING:

When it comes to de­ci­sion-mak­ing and prob­lem solv­ing our brain has to make a choice of path­way. The one com­monly cho­sen (be­cause that the one we were taught to use at school) is to use our logic, anal­y­sis and rea­son­ing. But the al­ter­nate route is al­ways avail­able if we choose to ac­cess it. Tun­ing into our in­tu­ition, in­sight and imag­i­na­tion can of­ten re­veal an an­swer that was pre­vi­ously eluding us.

HERE ARE SOME WAYS TO AC­CESS THAT SEC­OND ROUTE: 1. STOP THINK­ING SO HARD:

If you’ve ever found your­self com­pletely stuck on a prob­lem, the worst thing we can do is to keep sit­ting and fo­cus­ing hard. Ris­ing frustration lev­els fur­ther re­duce our abil­ity to de­velop new in­sights.

Un­cou­pling from your ex­ter­nal fo­cused thought and step­ping away from the com­puter or of­fice al­lows your brain to re­lax. It height­ens the op­por­tu­nity for in­sight by qui­eten­ing down the mind and al­low­ing in­ward fo­cus, ac­cess­ing unas­so­ci­ated ideas and thoughts.

That’s why we have our great­est in­sights in the shower, while out walk­ing the dog, ex­er­cis­ing, or en­joy­ing that well-de­served hol­i­day. That Aha! mo­ment is sud­den, seem­ingly ob­vi­ous as if it was sit­ting there all along and more likely to re­veal it­self when we are in a slightly happy mood.

2. SLEEP ON IT:

Sleep is won­der­ful be­cause it en­ables the brain to op­er­ate at its very best. REM sleep is the time spent dream­ing and en­hances cre­ativ­ity. Our most cre­ative time is of­ten dur­ing those first few min­utes as we wake up. So, grab that new thought and write it down quickly so you don’t for­get it.

3. MOVE IT:

Go­ing for a walk, run or cy­cle has been shown to help over­come those pesky men­tal blocks by en­hanc­ing men­tal flex­i­bil­ity, though this is only true for people used to ex­er­cis­ing. The so­lu­tion? It’s time for us all to get more ac­tive on a reg­u­lar ba­sis.

4. MED­I­TATE:

Many people use med­i­ta­tion to help re­duce stress, en­hance well­be­ing and hone attention. But can it boost our level of cre­ativ­ity? The an­swer is it de­pends on the type of me­di­a­tion be­ing prac­tised. Open Mon­i­tor­ing med­i­ta­tion where you are open to ev­ery thought and sen­sa­tion has been found to in­crease di­ver­gent think­ing i.e. look­ing for multiple so­lu­tions to a given prob­lem. In Fo­cused Attention med­i­ta­tion where the med­i­ta­tor fo­cuses on only one thought or ob­ject, cre­ativ­ity doesn’t re­ceive the same boost.

5. TURN OFF YOUR TECH­NOL­OGY:

With tech­nol­ogy be­ing used to fill ev­ery nook and cranny of our time awake, there is lit­tle time left over for imag­i­na­tive or cre­ative thought.

Neu­ro­sci­en­tist Daniel Le­tivin be­lieves our ad­dic­tion to our smart phones is set­ting us up for poorer think­ing. Mul­ti­task­ing or rapid task-switch­ing chews up a lot of men­tal en­ergy, lead­ing to cog­ni­tive ex­haus­tion, poorer fil­ter­ing of in­for­ma­tion, re­duced mem­ory, in­creased er­rors and re­duced cre­ativ­ity. Clif­ford Nass from Stan­ford Univer­sity has re­vealed how mul­ti­task­ing re­duces cog­ni­tive con­trol so it’s time to un­plug from your screen, switch off the phone and grab pa­per and pen.

6. TURN ON YOUR MU­SIC:

Lis­ten­ing to some up­beat mu­sic that is both fa­mil­iar and en­joy­able el­e­vates mood by in­creas­ing dopamine and sero­tonin re­lease, lead­ing to a more cre­ative zone. (Please note this ex­cludes heavy rock mu­sic!)

7. POP DOWN TO THE LO­CAL COF­FEE SHOP:

While si­lence is ideal for more fo­cussed work, cre­ativ­ity ben­e­fits from a lit­tle am­bi­ent

noise, (please note the em­pha­sis on lit­tle). If you en­joy a change of scenery (and a good cof­fee), why not head down to your lo­cal favourite café.

8. FIND THE BLUE ZONE:

While green space is very calm­ing, blue en­hances cre­ativ­ity. It’s thought that an en­vi­ron­ment with blue sky or be­ing close to the ocean makes us feel safe and more re­laxed. It’s the per­fect sce­nario for cu­rios­ity, ex­plo­ration and cre­ativ­ity.

So why not try a few of these cre­ative-build­ing ideas and see how those seem­ingly elu­sive so­lu­tions come your way.

Dr. Jenny Brockis is a Med­i­cal Prac­ti­tioner who spe­cialises in the sci­ence of brain health & high per­for­mance think­ing. Jenny’s ap­proach to over­com­ing life’s chal­lenges is based on prac­ti­cal neu­ro­science to en­hance greater un­der­stand­ing of how our thoughts and ac­tions can lead to ef­fec­tive be­hav­ioral change. Jenny is the au­thor of Fu­ture Brain the 12 Keys to Cre­ate Your High-Per­for­mance Brain. Con­tact her via web­site

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