Five Activities that Help Boost Your Creative Thinking
People will do different things during their commute: watch TV, listen to music, browse the internet, read, sleep, or talk. When I fly, I find that once the plane is in the air, I’m able to give my attention to one task or activity. Unless I have work to do, I usually choose not to purchase the in-flight internet. I find that it helps me disconnect and just focus on one thing in front me: such as writing or reading.
I also find that looking out the airplane window helps my mind think and wander while looking out at a storm, clouds or just open space.When I listen to music, it helps me relax and take a quick nap before waking up to jot new ideas down.
Allowing your mind to wander or daydream can help relax the prefrontal cortex of your brain which the hub of where your decisions, goals, and behavior happen and it opens your mind to fresh perspectives and ideas.
There’s a reason they call it “Shower Ideas” and it’s because we get so many ideas and clear thoughts while showering. Your body is so relaxed during a shower that it releases dopamine which helps boost your creative juices.
3. Walking in nature
Fresh air can contribute to new ideas and perspectives. It also helps you unplug from distractions like technology for a few hours. Taking a walk in nature helps decrease your stress levels, enhances your creativity, and gives you space to think through problems to find solutions. Being out in nature also puts you in a good mood and according to the journal of Psychological Science, being in a good mood can help surface innovative ideas and help with creative thinking.
Breathing, running, and making mental notes: those are the three things usually happening in my head while running. I’m mostly focused on my breathing and form, but once I’m in a tempo pace, I start to organize my thoughts. I’ll organize a report, an article, a speech or rebuttals, anticipate questions for a presentation, and so on. I organize my thoughts and ideas while running, I keep repeating them in my head.
5. Getting ready for bed
Just before bed is when I sometimes think of the most random ideas and there’s a reason for that: it’s usually when I’m most tired. According to the journal of Thinking and Reasoning, being tired is a precursor to creative thoughts—it’s when you’re more likely to come up with a creative solution to something. Researchers found that when you have to be creative, working at your non-optimal time usually works to your advantage.
Your brain’s sensors aren’t as strong and you’re able to keep trivial details at bay and allow great and creative ideas to surface. I often keep a small notebook or writing pad by my nightstand to jot these ideas down.
When are you the most creative?
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