Whether we’re trying to come up with a clever advertising headline, an original design concept or a business idea, we all get creatively stumped every now and then. So how do you get those creative juices flowing again?
Read on to understand a little more of the brainwork behind creativity.
1. Keep a notebook and pen with you… at all times
These days we have iPhones, laptops and tablets we can type our ideas on, but studies (http://neurorelay.com/2013/08/07/how-does-writing-…) have shown that the act of scribbling something down may be more beneficial since you use your own hand to form letters versus pushing buttons on a keyboard. Writing stimulates the part of the brain necessary for processing information, which triggers your brain to play closer attention. This can also help commit that thought to the brain’s memory and allow your mind to subconsciously think on it further.
Find yourself drifting off into your imagination during the workday? Maybe it’s not a bad thing. The default brain network is the part of your brain that deals with dreams and imagination, and is activated when people are sleeping. In most people, this network and the working memory network responsible for day-to-day activities are anti-correlated, which means that only one can be active at a time. However, creative people tend to have an overactive default network, meaning both networks can be active simultaneously, causing frequent daydreams. This benefits creative individuals in that their brains are exposed to the imaginative realm and they can associate two ideas across different networks. Click here (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/14/bored-at-…) to read about a study that correlates daydreaming with creativity.
3. Go outside
Sometimes just stepping out of our normal brainstorming areas or places where we spend most our time opens our minds up to new senses and ideas. Go to the beach and listen to the waves. Take a short hike and breathe deeply. Positioning yourself in the great outdoors can also be beneficial because of the color blue. Because of expansive spaces such as the sky or ocean, people associate blue with openness and peace, which subconsciously makes people feel safer about being creative and exploratory. Click here (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/09020…) to read about a study that talks about the effects of the color blue on creativity.
4. Listen to music
Everyone knows that music can have a great impact on our minds and bodies. Dr. Jeffrey Thompson has studied the impact of sound on creativity since 1980 and found that when we start listening to music, our brainwaves start to time themselves to the tempo of the music. This alters our consciousness and creates a more dreamlike state, which ties back into engaging that default brain network associated with creativity that we mentioned above.
5. Break a sweat
In addition to burning a few calories, a good work out might be able to help that writer’s block you’ve been struggling with. An article in the Frontiers in Human Neuroscience (http://journal.frontiersin.org/Journal/10.3389/fnh…) found that regular exercisers do better on tests of creativity than their more sedentary counterparts. The study discovered that regular exercise is associated with the two components of creative thinking: divergent thinking (thinking of multiple solutions for a problem) and convergent thinking (one solution for a problem). Researchers believe this is because exercise stimulates blood flow, causing more oxygen to reach the brain and thereby enhancing its capabilities.
What do you think of these tips? Tell us in the comments below what your favorite ways are to get creative in your line of work, or in your free time. favorite ways are to get creative in your line of work, or in your free time.