DEVELOP YOUR CREATIVE SIDE PART 2
Learn tips to be more innovative & creative
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.
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