6 Scientifically Proven Ways to Jump-Start Your Creativity

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Some companies inspire their workers by overhauling their entire offices. But if a full redesign isn’t in your budget, you can still help kickstart your employees’ imaginations–or your own. Just start with these quick and frugal alternatives:

Debate

Sometimes critiquing someone else’s ideas inspires your own. A University of California, Berkeley, study found that groups that ignored the no-criticism rules of brainstorming sessions came up with more creative answers than those that respected them.

Relax

Meditate; take a long, warm shower; or zone out to your favorite music. All of these activities promote the “mind-wandering” state, increasing the alpha and theta brain waves associated with reflection and creativity.

Exercise

Taking a walk helps boost divergent thinking, or brainstorming, according to a 2014 Stanford University study–and regular exercise boosts convergent thinking, or problem solving, according to a 2013 study in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience.

Find Nature

Being outdoors increases feelings of well-being, reducing blood pressure, heart rate, and stress hormones. In 2012, University of Kansas researchers found that backpackers who spent three days or more in the wilderness showed a 50 percent improvement in creativity on tests.

Nap

Georgetown University researchers in 2012 discovered that naps help inspire right-brain activity, associated with creative tasks such as visualization and big-picture thinking.

When in Doubt, Have a Drink

In 2012, University of Illinois at Chicago researchers determined that people whose blood alcohol level was slightly under .08 percent–the legal driving threshold–performed better on creative tasks than sober participants. When it came to memory, however, they underperformed.

 

Source: http://www.inc.com/magazine/201511/jennifer-alsever/stuck-use-these-shortcuts-to-get-creative-quickly.html (BY JENNIFER ALSEVER | November 2015)

 

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