How best to access your right brain hemisphere for creative solution making
Humanity thrives on our creative problem solving abilities. In fact, it’s one of the key factors that has allowed the human species to evolve. Creativity has allowed us to develop language in its modern form, invent more and more complex tools, drive the growth of functional communities and that’s just the start, not even mentioning our more artistic pursuits!
Our brains are infinitely complex and sensitive organs, however at a very simple and broad level, it is understood that they are filed into two, left and right. The left brain is linear, fact driven, scientific and generally more pragmatic. Whereas the right brain is emotional, imaginative and altogether more creative.
Too many of us forgo the use of our creative right side (aka. right hemisphere) in favour of the more logical left. In doing so we are forgetting to employ our creative superpowers on a day to day basis.
In this article we are going to look at five ways that you can stimulate your creative right hemisphere, helping to maximise your potential, at work and beyond.
We all have our routines and way of doing things. These are developed from experience, honed to maximise efficiency and productivity. All good reasons to stick by them, however repetitive habits leave little room for creativity.
To break your robotic cycle and change your perspective, try switching up your routine. For example, take a different route to work. Or how about changing how you normally approach a problem - Role playing is a good place to start, put yourself in someone else’s shoes, how would they go about it?
Challenge Your Own Assumptions
We are all conditioned to a collective standard, driving our assumptions. When a new project lands on the desk these assumptions click into gear, limiting the possibilities of different solutions before you’ve even had the opportunity to pause for thought!
Learn to question assumptions, both yours and others. Ask questions, even when you think you know the answer and see where they take you.
Wake up the right side of your brain through meditation. The right side is your creative hub and meditation has been shown to stimulate its activity.
You can also rev it up with simple creative activities like doodling - so get scribbling in that notebook! The right side somewhat perversely controls the left side of your body, so if you really want to get it going, try a meditative doodling session using only your left hand while hopping up and down on your left foot!
Last month we introduced you to the benefits of indulging in idle thought. Well, idle time also breeds creativity. When you are stuck on a problem it’s best to step away and forget about it for a bit, allowing time for your mind to reorder itself and breathe. You’ll soon be having a eureka or ‘aha’ moment of your own, when your creative brain kicks in with a solution.
In a similar vein, we tend to view boredom as a negative in today’s thinking, however being bored is actually a trigger for your brain to come up with something interesting, so lean into the boredom and don’t reach for your phone every time problems arise.
Finally and most simply, make the choice to get creative. Earlier we talked about mindlessly following our routines. There’s nothing wrong with having them, just be self-aware enough to be proactive with your creative mind.
If you’re struggling to get going, stick on some music. The Baroque era is particularly effective. Studies have shown that music from this era such as Vivaldi’s ‘Four Seasons’ synchronises with alpha brain waves at 60 cycles per minute - which stimulates creative thinking.
Another fun way to warm up your creative minds is to pick two random items and work out how to combine them for something useful. E.G. wheels and running shoes - roller skates! What will you create?
Time to create
How’s your brain feeling after taking in all of that juicy information? Time for a workout, your logical left hemisphere should now be telling you to make the most of your creative right by putting these tips into action!the
A good place to start your new creative journey would be with a Wellineux Mindfulness Training session. Or better yet, unlock your full creative potential by booking yourself in for our August 2019 Urban Retreat.