The Best Mental Exercises To Help Creativity
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Many people have creativity inside them, whether or not they know it or choose to use it everyday. It can show itself in many different ways; it’s in how you decorate your home, how you choose to solve a problem, and in the way you prepare a meal. Boosting your creativity, however, means putting in a little work with mental exercises to train your brain to think in different ways.
Fortunately, there are several things you can do to keep your mind in good creative shape, and they’re not only useful, they’re also fun. You can follow these tips or make up your own; the key is to teach yourself to look for different paths to the desired solution or effect.
Here are a few of the best exercises for waking up your creative side.
Stimulate the right hemisphere of your brain
Engaging certain parts of the brain requires certain amounts of silliness; think Alice In Wonderland. One exercise that’s great for waking up the old noodle is to think of a word--or a pair of words--and write it repeatedly on a sheet of paper. Write it backwards; write it without looking at the paper; write it upside down. Do this until it becomes easy to write in any direction but left to right.
War of the hands
It takes a little work to do anything with the hand that isn’t your dominant one. In a similar exercise to the one above, use a pencil and a sheet of paper to write down a word, then transfer the pencil to the hand you don’t use for writing and repeat. Switch hands, going back and forth after each word is written, and strengthen your brain’s ability to “talk” to your hands.
Waking up the creative side of your brain can be tricky, but if you are a visual learner it might come easier to you if you visualize something unusual and see how detailed you can make it before your mind starts to wander. For instance, picture a bright green apple sitting on a white table. Imagine yourself picking it up, smelling it, feeling the apple skin. Is it waxy or porous? In your mind, take a bite of the apple. Imagine each bite, whether the apple is juicy or not, if it’s sweet or sour. See how far you can get into the visualization before it starts to fade.
Playing card games or putting together puzzles are great ways to stimulate the mind; try doing these both alone and with a friend or family member to see how your experiences differ.
Read a book out loud
You might be an avid reader who can devour a book in two days, but many of us miss parts of what we read because our brains get so used to reading particular words that it skips over them after a while. Try reading a book out loud in order to get something different out of it and force your imagination to work differently.
On a piece of paper, draw several squiggly lines. Doodle shapes, either connected or separate. After a minute, stop and step back to see what you’ve drawn. Next, pick up your pencil again and create an image out of your doodle. This will make your brain look for something new in an existing image.
A very special thank you to my guest blogger Lawrence Mager of email@example.com. Being a student, teacher and advocate of creativity, I'm always looking for ways to help people discover and express their creativity. Thanks for all the great ideas, Lawrence!