Strangely enough, your brain can function more creatively when you are tired. Your mind is more likely to wander, and you may find your thinking going off at a tangent that could be valuable creatively.
People who are naturally alert in the mornings may well find that they come up with more creative insights towards the end of the day; conversely, night owls who feel sleepy in the morning will find this is their most creative time.
When you are tired, you are less able to focus on one subject and filter out the things that distract you. Whilst this may not be an advantage in situations where analytical thinking is required, it works well for boosting creativity.
Exercise is widely recognised as beneficial for health, but did you know it can also improve your creative thinking ability?
One study showed that participants who performed an exercise video outperformed the participants who simply watched the video in terms of their ability to think of a greater number of solutions to the problem they were given.
According to an article in Psychology Today, sweat can be compared to WD40 for the mind. The article claims that sweat can make thinking more fluid by lubricating the brain’s rusty hinges. It states that exercise can enable the conscious mind to reach new ideas that are hidden away in the subconscious.
You might assume that creativity is easier in a silent environment; in reality, ambient noise has been shown to promote creative thinking. Silence can help to sharpen your focus, so is helpful when you need to concentrate on a specific task, but ambient noise levels such as might be found in a café can help to produce innovative ideas.
Although you may believe that being creative is all about originality, making connections between existing ideas is also creative. If you feel that you can’t come up with totally new ideas, try looking for links between things that are already there.
Our brains work on connections between different regions of the brain, with intelligence depending on these connections. The individual parts need to be connected to others to produce their full potential.
There is limited research that suggests travelling abroad may be responsible for improving creativity. In one study, college students who had travelled abroad were found to score better on tests of creative thinking than those who did not leave their main campus. Although this was only a small study, conducted in the United States, researchers have suggested that even travel between states may increase creativity. It therefore follows that travel in general may have the same effect, although further research would be needed to establish a definite link.
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