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Using 20 Minutes A Day In This Way Can Hugely Improve Your Creativity And Mental Clarity

Using 20 Minutes A Day In This Way Can Hugely Improve Your Creativity And Mental Clarity

Sometimes you may find it difficult to engage your creative side or feel as though you’ve hit a wall and cannot come up with any more ideas. Other times you may get so wrapped up in your day-to-day routine and the stress that comes with it that your mental clarity is a bit foggy.

Your subconscious and conscious are responsible for very important things in your mind. Think about the last time you felt anxiety for seemingly no reason, your subconscious was behind it. Your conscious mind allows you to be aware of the present moment. You’re aware of your environment, breathing, and an object that you’re sitting on. It also allows you to remember phone numbers that you frequently use. Think of it as memory recall.

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Check out this page that gives you a little insight on how important the subconscious really is. Keep reading to find out how setting aside 20 minutes a day can help improve your creativity and bring you mental clarity.

Write down your goals/thoughts 10 minutes before bed

“Never go to sleep without a request to your subconscious.” – Thomas Edison

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It’s important to give your subconscious some direction before you drift off to sleep. This can be easily done by meditating and/or writing down your thoughts or “requests”, the more specific you can be, the better. It could be anything. From what you want to accomplish, or something you’d like to explore.

When you do this before bed, you give your subconscious the opportunity to get to work on giving you the answers to your questions/requests while you’re sleeping. Not only that, but it helps you unwind from your day. Any thought that crossed your mind can be written down in addition to your requests.

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10-minute morning reflection

When you’re asleep, your subconscious mind has time to look over your thoughts and make connections with your conscious. This may explain why your brain is most creative immediately after waking up. Research has confirmed that the prefrontal cortex of the brain is most active and creative immediately following sleep.

Try to repeat your before-bed routine in the morning instead of reaching for your phone or your computer. Meditation is another way to get the ball rolling in the morning. When you write down your thoughts/goals in a journal after waking up, you give yourself the ability to channel your subconscious and conscious thoughts in a much clearer and creative state.

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Practice thought-dumping; when you write down your first thoughts in the morning it allows your mind to explore a higher level of thinking and creativeness. You may discover new ways to improve your relationships, romantic or friendly. You may find a better way to approach a problem that you have, or you’ll be able to discover a solution much easier.

You create your own destiny

The end goal here is to be able to connect both your subconscious and conscious thoughts to create conditions for yourself that give you the opportunity to accomplish the goals you’ve set for yourself, give you answers to the questions you have, and fulfill your requests.

Mental creation always comes before physical creation. For example, before a building is constructed, there’s a blueprint laying out all the details. Your thoughts are the blueprint of your life that you are building on a daily basis. Over time, as you begin to learn to channel your thinking, consciously and subconsciously, you are able to create conditions for yourself that make achieving your goals inevitable.

You essentially create your own destiny. Getting yourself into this simple routine will help secure where you want to go and how you’ll get there.

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Erica Wagner

Freelance Writer

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Last Updated on June 6, 2019

Science Says Silence Is Much More Important To Our Brains Than We Think

Science Says Silence Is Much More Important To Our Brains Than We Think

In 2011, the Finnish Tourist Board ran a campaign that used silence as a marketing ‘product’. They sought to entice people to visit Finland and experience the beauty of this silent land. They released a series of photographs of single figures in the nature and used the slogan “Silence, Please”. A tag line was added by Simon Anholt, an international country branding consultant, “No talking, but action.”

Eva Kiviranta the manager of the social media for VisitFinland.com said: “We decided, instead of saying that it’s really empty and really quiet and nobody is talking about anything here, let’s embrace it and make it a good thing”.

Finland may be on to something very big. You could be seeing the very beginnings of using silence as a selling point as silence may be becoming more and more attractive. As the world around becomes increasingly loud and cluttered you may find yourself seeking out the reprieve that silent places and silence have to offer. This may be a wise move as studies are showing that silence is much more important to your brains than you might think.

Regenerated brain cells may be just a matter of silence.

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     A 2013 study on mice published in the journal Brain, Structure and Function used differed types of noise and silence and monitored the effect the sound and silence had on the brains of the mice.[1] The silence was intended to be the control in the study but what they found was surprising. The scientists discovered that when the mice were exposed to two hours of silence per day they developed new cells in the hippocampus. The hippocampus is a region of the brain associated with memory, emotion and learning.

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    The growth of new cells in the brain does not necessarily translate to tangible health benefits. However, in this instance, researcher Imke Kirste says that the cells appeared to become functioning neurons.

    “We saw that silence is really helping the new generated cells to differentiate into neurons, and integrate into the system.”

    In this sense silence can quite literally grow your brain.

    The brain is actively internalizing and evaluating information during silence

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      A 2001 study defined a “default mode” of brain function that showed that even when the brain was “resting” it was perpetually active internalizing and evaluating information.

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      Follow-up research found that the default mode is also used during the process of self-reflection. In 2013, in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, Joseph Moran et al. wrote, the brain’s default mode network “is observed most closely during the psychological task of reflecting on one’s personalities and characteristics (self-reflection), rather than during self-recognition, thinking of the self-concept, or thinking about self-esteem, for example.

      “When the brain rests it is able to integrate internal and external information into “a conscious workspace,” said Moran and colleagues.

      When you are not distracted by noise or goal-orientated tasks, there appears to be a quiet time that allows your conscious workspace to process things. During these periods of silence, your brain has the freedom it needs to discover its place in your internal and external world.

      The default mode helps you think about profound things in an imaginative way.

      As Herman Melville once wrote,[2]

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      “All profound things and emotions of things are preceded and attended by silence.”

      Silence relieves stress and tension.

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        It has been found that noise can have a pronounced physical effect on our brains resulting in elevated levels of stress hormones. The sound waves reach the brain as electrical signals via the ear. The body reacts to these signals even if it is sleeping. It is thought that the amygdalae (located in the temporal lobes of the brain) which is associated with memory formation and emotion is activated and this causes a release of stress hormones. If you live in a consistently noisy environment that you are likely to experience chronically elevated levels of stress hormones.

        A study that was published in 2002 in Psychological Science (Vol. 13, No. 9) examined the effects that the relocation of Munich’s airport had on children’s health and cognition. Gary W. Evans, a professor of human ecology at Cornell University notes that children who are exposed to noise develop a stress response that causes them to ignore the noise. What is of interest is that these children not only ignored harmful stimuli they also ignored stimuli that they should be paying attention to such as speech. 

        “This study is among the strongest, probably the most definitive proof that noise – even at levels that do not produce any hearing damage – causes stress and is harmful to humans,” Evans says.[3]

        Silence seems to have the opposite effect of the brain to noise. While noise may cause stress and tension silence releases tension in the brain and body. A study published in the journal Heart discovered that two minutes of silence can prove to be even more relaxing than listening to “relaxing” music. They based these findings of changes they noticed in blood pressure and blood circulation in the brain.[4]

        Silence replenishes our cognitive resources.

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          The effect that noise pollution can have on cognitive task performance has been extensively studied. It has been found that noise harms task performance at work and school. It can also be the cause of decreased motivation and an increase in error making.  The cognitive functions most strongly affected by noise are reading attention, memory and problem solving.

          Studies have also concluded that children exposed to households or classrooms near airplane flight paths, railways or highways have lower reading scores and are slower in their development of cognitive and language skills.

          But it is not all bad news. It is possible for the brain to restore its finite cognitive resources. According to the attention restoration theory when you are in an environment with lower levels of sensory input the brain can ‘recover’ some of its cognitive abilities. In silence the brain is able to let down its sensory guard and restore some of what has been ‘lost’ through excess noise.[5]

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          Summation

          Traveling to Finland may just well be on your list of things to do. There you may find the silence you need to help your brain. Or, if Finland is a bit out of reach for now, you could simply take a quiet walk in a peaceful place in your neighborhood. This might prove to do you and your brain a world of good.

          Featured photo credit: Angelina Litvin via unsplash.com

          Reference

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