Research from the University of California Santa Barbara has found that our creativity flourishes in environments where the mind can be left to wander. That explains why many of us say our best thinking is done in the shower; it’s just the right level of activity to stimulate the creative parts of our brain.
This made me think about things we can do to induce our optimal level of creative thinking. So, I’ve put together my three favourite creativity inducing activities.
1. Take a break
Not just any break. One that has the optimal level of activity, such as, walking & gardening. I like to walk out of the office to the local coffee shop where I can aid my creative thinking with a dose of caffeine.
2. Log out of social media
Although reviewing your social media accounts can be intriguing, it makes for passive viewing. This means it doesn’t allow your brain to have a creative release. Instead, try finding a new piece of content to post e.g taking a photo of something that’s interested you during the course of the day.
3. Power Nap
One of the researchers from the University of California Santa Barbara, Jonathan Schooler, Ph.D., states that “People are much more productive and creative after a nap,”. A quick power nap can help you solve problems in ways your awake self can’t, because your thought processes are still working whilst you’re dreaming. However, a power nap shouldn’t last more than 10-20mins or else you may run the risk of developing sleep inertia – that unpleasant groggy feeling that takes a considerable time to shake off.
Creativity is an endless process so don’t be discouraged if a situation doesn’t have the intended result. For me, creativity is like a muscle, it needs to be trained and nurtured. The more creativity inducing tasks you undertake, the greater the chances of coming up with the ‘ah-ha’ moment.
Image: Flickr CC/BY/2.0 Alice Popkorn