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Creativity Is Not Only About The Left Brain, Here’s Why

Creativity Is Not Only About The Left Brain, Here’s Why

What do you recall hearing about the right and left brain? Did you learn that the right brain is all about logic and reason, and the left side is all about creativity?

As most of us think, the brain is made up of two parts, the left side being connected to analysis, and the right side being connected to creativity. Well, scientists are here to tell us different. There are actually a complex set of reasons as to why some people are more creative. Scientific evidence tells us that creativity is triggered in many different areas of the brain.

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Do you want to be more creative? Here are reasons why you can be! It isn’t just about what you were born with.

It’s Not Just About IQ

When we think about the people with the best ideas we often think of the geniuses – the Albert Einstein’s, the Amelia Earhart’s, the Picasso’s, and the Jane Austen’s. We think of the utmost masters of the craft. However, the realm of creativity falls under an enormous umbrella. Being intelligent actually has far less of an impact on creativity than people think. Contrary to popular belief, it is not down to our IQ levels when it comes to sparking creative thought – at least not as much as we were probably led to believe.

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Creativity is Made Up of Many Factors

Creativity is actually due a to a whole range of factors, including emotional characteristics, your personal morals, your levels of motivation, as well as where you stand intellectually. It isn’t IQ that is the common denominator between creative minds, but in fact a general sameness in certain character traits. These include how open they are to their inner selves, their high level of tolerance regarding chaos and disarray in their surrounding areas, their ability to be in such chaos and not only function within it, but also find a way to organize and structure it. Creative types are genuine risk-takers who thrive on individuality and independence. They are masters of the unconventional. They prefer to discover. They enjoy ambiguity. They thrive on uncertainty, for it is there that they can search for answers, or maybe even make an answer of their own.

It is a mixing pot of traits perhaps, but within this lies a bundle of oxymoronic characteristics, and possibly the reason why the brain is healthy when we exercise creativity. Creative personalities are both constructive and deconstructive. They find use in being both cultured and primal. They are sane, but they are also crazy!

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The Whole Creative Brain

It seems that creative types are much more introspective about their inner selves. When they tap into creativity (or when anyone sits down to take part in a creative task) they are using many different parts of the brain as a whole, not just the right or left side. Although creative types seem to be (and probably describe themselves) as an “individual”, they are actually better described as a “multitude”. They are complex because of the different parts of the mind they tap into when exploring their inner selves.

A Healthy Imagination Means A Healthy Mind

It is very important to keep using your imagination and let your mind wander into daydream, so that these parts of the brain are being engaged. The brain is an interplay of different triggers when we are creative. It is a processing system that is activated in the inside surface of the brain, engaging the temporal, frontal, and parietal lobes.

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Our imagination (or our “imaginative network” in our brains) allows us to recall things easier, understand stories, have compassion for others, reflect on life, and better understand emotions that people have. Our imaginative network operates in conjunction with other brain networks, so it’s integral that we keep it as active as possible.

So, spend time with children and draw with their crayons right alongside them! It will quite literally open up your mind.

Featured photo credit: Vulcan Post via az598155.vo.msecnd.net

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

You go to the gym to train your muscles. You run outside or go for hikes to train your endurance. Or, maybe you do neither of those, but still wish you exercised more.

Well, here is how to train one of the most important parts of your body: your brain.

When you train your brain, you will:

  • Avoid embarrassing situations. You remember his face, but what was his name?
  • Be a faster learner in all sorts of different skills. No problem for you to pick up a new language or new management skill.
  • Avoid diseases that hit as you get older. Alzheimer’s will not be affecting you.

So how to train your brain and improve your cognitive skills?

1. Work your memory

Twyla Tharp, a NYC-based renowned choreographer has come up with the following memory workout:

When she watches one of her performances, she tries to remember the first twelve to fourteen corrections she wants to discuss with her cast without writing them down.

If you think this is anything less than a feat, then think again. In her book The Creative Habit she says that most people cannot remember more than three.

The practice of both remembering events or things and then discussing them with others has actually been supported by brain fitness studies.

Memory activities that engage all levels of brain operation—receiving, remembering and thinking—help to improve the function of the brain.

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Now, you may not have dancers to correct, but you may be required to give feedback on a presentation, or your friends may ask you what interesting things you saw at the museum. These are great opportunities to practically train your brain by flexing your memory muscles.

What is the simplest way to help yourself remember what you see? Repetition.

For example, say you just met someone new:

“Hi, my name is George”

Don’t just respond with, “Nice to meet you”. Instead, say, “Nice to meet you George.”

Got it? Good.

2. Do something different repeatedly

By actually doing something new over and over again, your brain wires new pathways that help you do this new thing better and faster.

Think back to when you were three years old. You surely were strong enough to hold a knife and a fork just fine. Yet, when you were eating all by yourself, you were creating a mess.

It was not a matter of strength, you see. It was a matter of cultivating more and better neural pathways that would help you eat by yourself just like an adult does.

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And guess what? With enough repetition you made that happen!

But how does this apply to your life right now?

Say you are a procrastinator. The more you don’t procrastinate, the more you teach your brain not to wait for the last minute to make things happen.

Now, you might be thinking “Duh, if only not procrastinating could be that easy!”

Well, it can be. By doing something really small, that you wouldn’t normally do, but is in the direction of getting that task done, you will start creating those new precious neural pathways.

So if you have been postponing organizing your desk, just take one paper and put in its right place. Or, you can go even smaller. Look at one piece of paper and decide where to put it: Trash? Right cabinet? Another room? Give it to someone?

You don’t actually need to clean up that paper; you only need to decide what you need to do with it.

That’s how small you can start. And yet, those neural pathways are still being built. Gradually, you will transform yourself from a procrastinator to an in-the-moment action taker.

3. Learn something new

It might sound obvious, but the more you use your brain, the better its going to perform for you.

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For example, learning a new instrument improves your skill of translating something you see (sheet music) to something you actually do (playing the instrument).

Learning a new language exposes your brain to a different way of thinking, a different way of expressing yourself.

You can even literally take it a step further, and learn how to dance. Studies indicate that learning to dance helps seniors avoid Alzheimer’s. Not bad, huh?

4. Follow a brain training program

The Internet world can help you improve your brain function while lazily sitting on your couch. A clinically proven program like BrainHQ can help you improve your memory, or think faster, by just following their brain training exercises.

5. Work your body

You knew this one was coming didn’t you? Yes indeed, exercise does not just work your body; it also improves the fitness of your brain.

Even briefly exercising for 20 minutes facilitates information processing and memory functions. But it’s not just that–exercise actually helps your brain create those new neural connections faster. You will learn faster, your alertness level will increase, and you get all that by moving your body.

Now, if you are not already a regular exerciser, and already feel guilty that you are not helping your brain by exercising more, try a brain training exercise program like Exercise Bliss.

Remember, just like we discussed in #2, by training your brain to do something new repeatedly, you are actually changing yourself permanently.

6. Spend time with your loved ones

If you want optimal cognitive abilities, then you’ve got to have meaningful relationships in your life.  Talking with others and engaging with your loved ones helps you think more clearly, and it can also lift your mood.

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If you are an extrovert, this holds even more weight for you. At a class at Stanford University, I learned that extroverts actually use talking to other people as a way to understand and process their own thoughts.

I remember that the teacher told us that after a personality test said she was an extrovert, she was surprised. She had always thought of herself as an introvert. But then, she realized how much talking to others helped her frame her own thoughts, so she accepted her new-found status as an extrovert.

7. Avoid crossword puzzles

Many of us, when we think of brain fitness, think of crossword puzzles. And it’s true–crossword puzzles do improve our fluency, yet studies show they are not enough by themselves.

Are they fun? Yes. Do they sharpen your brain? Not really.

Of course, if you are doing this for fun, then by all means go ahead. If you are doing it for brain fitness, then you might want to choose another activity

8. Eat right – and make sure dark chocolate is included

Foods like fish, fruits, and vegetables help your brain perform optimally. Yet, you might not know that dark chocolate gives your brain a good boost as well.

When you eat chocolate, your brain produces dopamine. And dopamine helps you learn faster and remember better. Not to mention, chocolate contains flavonols, antioxidants, which also improve your brain functions.

So next time you have something difficult to do, make sure you grab a bite or two of dark chocolate!

The bottom line

Now that you know how to train your brain, it’s actually time to start doing.

Don’t just consume this content and then go on with your life as if nothing has changed. Put this knowledge into action and become smarter than ever!

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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