Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Brain Cramp Massage!

We all get brain cramps! Whether we are writing and stuck on where the characters should go next, or even start off from… Or any decision we need to make all day long. Study results are popping up all over suggesting ways to jumpstart the brain, get the creative juices flowing and light up the proverbial light bulb over our heads! I’ve blogged about this before and somewhere in the archives are other suggestions. However it seems an epidemic of brain cramps is affecting all the MMMM authors and other friends lately, so here are seven new tricks scientifically proven to get results!

Daydream- your brain actually goes into problem solving mode when you do this. Canadian researchers found zoning out activates the area of the brain for complicated reasoning.

Imagine a Box- Close your eyes and visualize an empty box. Brain scans showed this caused changes in the brain areas responsible for creativity and problem-solving> subconsciously we start brainstorming ways it can be filled. Puts you in the perfect frame of mind to come up with the problem’s solution.

Talk to your pet- Hearing the issue out loud helps you come up with creative solutions better than just keeping it in your head. And pets (or stuffed animals if you don’t have a pet- hey we writers are already out there, so why not?) don’t interrupt or make judgments. Their unconditional love automatically reduces stress that inhibits creativity.

Move your hands- Stuck on something? University of Chicago found that moving your hands helps you come up with solutions. Seems the movement simulates the brain’s thinking and problem-solving areas…waving those hands also helps boost memory and learning.

Walk backward- LOL My mom used to always say take a step back and look at it again when I was having a problem! Guess “mom’s always right” is proven true once again! in a study, backward steppers (as opposed to forward or sideways) came up with faster more effective solutions. Why? Our wiring. The unfamiliar situation, like not being able to see where we are going, puts the brain on high alert which ignites the area linked to cognitive thinking and problem-solving.

Switch rooms- The higher your ceiling, the more creative you become, according to a study at the University of Minnesota. When in a room with high ceilings participants approached problems with more abstract and imaginative ways. When under a low ceiling they focused on facts and details not looking at the bigger picture. Researchers think the lower ceiling makes us feel confined stuck in the box, thus more analytical thought. High ceilings we feel less enclosed, freer, so thoughts are more free-flowing. No high ceilings…Go Outside!

Plant something- A study at the University of Wisconsin at Madison showed tending a garden lowers anxiety, reduces stress hormones, and increases creativity and intuition. Gardening puts your mind in a meditative state, which boosts blood flow to the brain and helps you see things you normally wouldn’t. Ten minutes of meditation improved people’s ability to find hidden objects in pictures.

May your thoughts flow!

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Blogger Shelley Munro said...

The daydreaming thing works for me. I just zone out and get some great ideas. Today I zoned out while I was biking. I had no memory of half the trail that I normally take. It was actually a bit scary. :)

Taking a shower always works for me too.

8/19/2009 3:39 AM  
Blogger Marissa Alwin said...

LOL I've zoned out while driving, have no real recollection of the drive home from grocery shopping, which might be scarier. But yeah I am a daydreamer, too. That and gardening work best for me. Pets I am too busy scolding at the moment to carry on a conversation, maybe when they are older.

8/19/2009 8:57 AM  

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