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The Creative Brain

Leading on from the last post on creativity, I thought it would be appropriate to include an insight from expert, Tony Buzan on the creative brain. This is a really interesting video in which he cites Leonardo Da Vinci as having said that everyone is an artist and everyone is a scientist. From the moment we are born, we start to experiment and we continue to experiment throughout our lives, mostly unknowingly of course: [Read more…]

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How To Be Creative

How To Be CreativeCreativity is a topic that most people associate with people in the arts; namely musicians, actors, painters, designers, architects, chefs and other professions within music, film and TV. If you would like to discover how to be creative, then you’ll be pleased to learn, it is already within you.

Some people are lead to believe that they’re either creative types, or they’re not. Without sounding harsh and alienating you right now, this is a common misconception. Having said that, it’s the majority opinion and it is understandable why it is so which I will explain in just a minute. [Read more…]

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29 Ways to Focus On Your Creativity

If you ever think you’re not the creative type, then you’re wrong. Everyone is creative, it’s just that most of us have been educated out of it – according to Sir Ken Robinson, the creativity expert. You’ll be pleased to know however, that there are ways to induce creativity, to get it back. Here are 20 ways to focus on your creativity that you should watch to with sound.

Please share with your friends if you liked these 29 ways to focus on your creativity. It’s easy to forget that we were all born creative, it’s inside us all. Unfortunately most people get sucked into work and neglect their creative sides so pick a few of these tips each day and get creative!

 

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Exercises To Stimulate Your Brain And Senses

If you fear you may be getting forgetful, you may want to try a few of these exercises to stimulate your brain and senses written by Arti Patel for the Huffington Post Canada. Be sure to click through to the Huffington Post as there’s a slide show well worth viewing. Among it are tips such as turning your photos upside down in your work place as this will immediately puts your brain in “alert mode” according to Dr Stephen Brewer (cited below), and brushing your teeth with your less different hand can apparently induce creativity as it stimulates the brain’s senses.

Exercises To Stimulate Your Brain And Senses

Meditation For FocusDr. Stephen Brewer, medical director at Canyon Ranch in Tucson, Arizona says improving your memory is all about stimulating your senses.

“Using two senses can increase the likelihood of remembering something and smell is the most powerful sense for memory,” he said at the second annual St. Lucia Health and Wellness Retreat in Castries, St. Lucia.

Our senses work to engage our attention and helps our brain become more alert of our surroundings, Brewer says. Brain exercises, like playing Sudoku or crossword puzzles in the morning paper, have been shown to help improve not only intelligence,but also help prevent Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, according to the Archives of Neurology. An estimated 500,000 people have Alzheimer’s or a type of dementia in Canada and over 70,000 of them are under the age of 65, according to the Alzheimer’s Society of Toronto.

Continue reading on The Huffington Post

I was happy to see meditation featured in these exercises to stimulate your brain and senses. Meditation has a heap of benefits including its ability to boost your focus and creativity, and according to this article has even been shown to slow mental decline. The simplest form of meditation is to go to a quite place, uninterrupted, close your eyes, take deep slow breaths and to focus only your breathing. As soon as a thought enters your head, get rid of it and turn your attention back to your breathing. This empties your brain of thoughts and the longer you do it, the better you get at just concentrating on your breathing without the interruption of thoughts entering your head. It’s actually quite liberating, I’ve been doing it before going to sleep and waking up in the mornings. If you’re interested in meditation, this article explains a little more.

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10 Ways To Focus On Happiness

Do you ever wonder why some people always appear to be happy and others are never quite content? These 10 ways to focus on happiness are written by Paula Davis-Laack, J.D., M.A.P.P for Psychology Today. She actually presents them as things that happy people do differently having spent years studying thousands of people. See you many of these you can tick off as things you already do, or are present in your life..

10 Ways To Focus On Happiness

Ways To Focus On Happiness1)  They build a strong social fabric. Happy people stay connected to their families, neighbors, places of worship, and communities. These strong connections act as a buffer to depression and create strong, meaningful connections. The rate of depression has increased dramatically in the last 50-75 years. The World Health Organization predicts that by 2020, depression will be the second leading cause of mortality in the world, impacting nearly one-third of all adults (Murray & Lopez, 1996). While several forces are likely behind this increase, one of the most important factors may be the disconnection from people and their families and communities.

2)  They engage in activities that fit their strengths, values and lifestyle. One size does not fit all when it comes to happiness strategies. You tailor your workout to your specific fitness goals – happy people do the same thing with their emotional goals. Some strategies that are known to promote happiness are just too corny for me, but the ones that work best allow me to practice acts of kindness, express gratitude, and become fully engaged. Dr. Sonja Lyubomirsky offers a wonderful Person-Activity Fit Diagnostic in her book, The How of Happiness (Lyubomirsky, 2007)

Continue reading whole article on Psychology Today

So which of these 10 Ways To Focus On Happiness already apply to you? Which of these do you think you are actively engaging in on a day to day basis? I quite liked the second point here – focusing on strengths, values and lifestyle. In today’s world, I fear only a small proportion of the population focus on their strengths, certainly in their jobs. In my opinion, this is why I think many people are unhappy. People drift from job to job, seeking out a better opportunity each time, time and time again, and then have a midlife crisis realising that they’ve spent the last X number of years in a job which is so far removed from their innate strengths and talents that they don’t know what to do with themselves. That’s the problem with society – no one’s encouraged to work to their true strengths. We’re educated to all be the same, and to get a “decent job”, we need a degree, but everyone has one of those now, so where a degree was sufficient 10 years ago, you now need a masters. But now, loads of people have masters, so you need an MBA, then PHD etc.  Creativity expert, Sir Ken Robinson calls this “Academic Inflation”- we’re all completed educated out of our creativity (as we were all born creative, FACT). I’d highly recommend his book, The Element actually. It’ll get you thinking and inspired to be creative.

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Concentration and Focusing – Tony Buzan

Here’s another great clip of  Tony Buzan and this time he talks about concentration and focusing. He states that we, as human beings, have no problem with concentration. We can concentrate immaculately, we just have to learn to focus. He also talks about how being mentally fit helps to induce creativity and how our brains are solution finders rather than problem solvers.

What do you think about this clip on concentration and focusing? Please share your comments below.

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How To Use Your Brain More Effectively – Tony Buzan

Do you ever wonder how much of your brain you’re actually using? In this short clip, Tony Buzan explains how to use your brain more effectively. Interestingly he talks about day dreaming as being a source of ideas and creativity (which I’ve written about on this site) as long as you day dream big – with vision!

So that’s how to use your brain more effectively. I’m of the opinion that the majority of us use only a fraction of our brains. In fact, I think most people go through their entire lives without ever realising the full potential of their brains – which is very sad. So many people drift from job to job, based on their experience to date, never concentrating on their true strengths, their innate talents – those talents you’re born with. What do you think?

 

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Mind Wandering Is Linked With Creativity

If a reason that you struggle to focus, is down to the fact that your mind tends to wander then you’ll be pleased to read that mind wandering is linked with creativity! How can this be so, you may be wondering? Or wandering? Hopefully wondering. It transpires, that recent studies have shown that people who let themselves “space out” or allow their minds to wander, score higher on a certain level of creativity, called the “Unusual Task” test.

Mind Wandering Is Linked With Creativity

Mind Wandering And CreativityWe all experience the state of “mind wandering” on occasion — sometimes it feels almost like going into a trance. You can be in the middle of a meeting at work, and suddenly your mind is just going off on its own, with a train of thought you couldn’t reconstruct afterwards to save your life. Is this phenomenon just a waste of time, or a failure to pay attention on your part?

Apparently not — there’s now a fair amount of evidence that this state can be linked to increased creativity. A number of studies have shown that focused attention to a task can reduce your creativity, while a certain amount of mental wandering can actually boost your creative process. For example, a 2006 study by Ap Dijksterhuis and Teun Meurs with the University of Amsterdam found people who engaged in “unconscious thought” before solving a problem did better than people who’d been focused on something consciously.

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Mind-wandering is an “associative” state, so it makes sense that it would help you to come up with out-of-left-field answers. Read the full article here on io9.com

So when you’re struggling to focus because your mind tends to wander, remind yourself that mind wandering is linked with creativity – so this state of being “spaced out” is actually a good thing! I’d love for someone to use that argument when they’re caught out in a business meeting not paying attention whatsoever to what’s going on. Had I known this 3 years ago when I worked for a large organisation where we wasted so much time in meetings, I’d have definitely played that card. “Sorry, sorry, I have absolutely no idea what’s going on right now, but if it’s any consolation, I was in a meditative state of creativity.”

 

 

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