how to be more creative

Things That Help People Become More Creative

If you find yourself skimming through Scott Barry Kaufman and Carolyn Gregoire’s book, “Wired to Create: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Creative Mind,” you will notice a pattern that is pretty obvious. Though a lot of fundamentals of human creativity are clear, such as meditation, a lot of aspects of creative thought are not easily understood.

“Wired to Create” gives you an extensive and absorb-able account from the recent science behind creative thinking. The information gives us insights as to how and why the creative process works in humans. Here are some highlights:


Showering

Up to 72 percent of people have creative thoughts while showering. A study of people from around the world, done by Kaufman in 2014, showed that people receive new insights while taking a shower.

Letting your mind wander while you’re standing in the shower is actually good for your creativity. Our isolated morning shower is a great enclosed area for processing and coming up with ideas.

Other solitary actions, such as taking walks are also good for creativity.


Introverts

Introverts know what’s up.

Though productivity is possible when working with a group, thinking and working alone is a one-of-a-kind experience. It appears that the creative and imaginative parts of the brain work better when we’re on our own.

Neuroscientists call this engagement “constructive internal reflection.” When we tune out everything, our brain is better at making distinct connections, clearing memories and processing data.


Exploration

Putting yourself out there and trying new things also helps.

Exploring and trying new things has a correlation to creativity. Exploration is linked to the neurotransmitter dopamine, that also plays a part in inspiration and learning.

Dopamine “facilitates psychological plasticity, a tendency to explore and engage flexibly with new things,” the authors state.

The desire to explore just might be the most critical personal aspect when seeking creative performance.


Trauma

Trauma belies hidden creativity.

John Lennon, Truman Capote and Robin Williams are just a few examples of those who have had a traumatic experience during their lives that impacted their artistic accomplishments.

“Post-traumatic growth” is the name psychologists give this experience.

During a major loss, a person’s brain attempts to find a creative outlet during the rebuilding stage.

Researchers delved into post-traumatic growth dozens of times in the past to make scientific observations. A 2004 study in the Journal of Traumatic Stress, showed that 70% of survivors undertook some sort of positive psychological transformation after a traumatic event.


Daydreams

Daydreaming can, oddly enough, have positive advantages for your creativity. When you put your mind at rest and let it wander, there’s more going on than you think!

These occasions give a mental growth period that can enhance ingenious thinking, long-term organizing, and self reflection.

Psychologists have been researching the concept of “positive-constructive daydreaming” for dozens of years, and they continue to uncover the different ways in which the mind’s wandering is conducive for fantasy and creative notions.


Intuition

Steve Jobs said that intuition is more powerful than your intelligence.

An unconscious mind is a powerful tool that we just haven’t caught on to enough yet.

Research that was done and published in American Psychology magazine in 1992 proposes that “nonconscious processes may indeed be faster and structurally more sophisticated than our conscious thinking systems.”

So the next time you have that hunch or feeling in your gut, don’t ignore it completely.

Published by

Nigel Nolan - Managing Consultant, Sandbox Advisors

Nigel has vast experience in Training & Development, Facilitation, Lecturing, General Management and Operations. In addition to an educational background in philosophy, psychology, theology and communications, he has advanced qualifications in business, adult education and coaching.

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